Best Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers

Last Updated: 06/09/2023

Connect with experienced criminal defense attorneys in Philadelphia to vigorously defend your rights against criminal charges.

The 14 Best Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyers

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List of the Top 14 Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C.
9637 Bustleton Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19115, USA

Our Philadelphia law firm, led by Greg Prosmushkin, has offered expert legal help for over two decades. We handle personal injury, criminal defense, and more. Our team wins cases in car accidents, medical malpractice, and workers' compensation. We speak multiple languages to serve diverse clients. Recognized for excellence, we're committed to justice and client care.

Brian J. Zeiger, Esquire
1500 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

The Zeiger Firm is a premier criminal defense law firm in Philadelphia. Founded in 2005 by attorney Brian Zeiger, it provides high-quality legal representation. The attorneys have extensive trial experience defending misdemeanors and felonies. The Zeiger Firm offers zealous advocacy to get the best possible outcome for every case. The firm prides itself on meticulous preparation and personalized service.

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Brennan Law Offices
1600 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

Brennan Law Offices provides excellent criminal defense services in Philadelphia. They have handled hundreds of cases like domestic violence, DUI, drug offenses, and more. Brennan Law helps people throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey facing criminal charges.

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Lloyd Long, Criminal Defense Attorney
1845 Walnut St #525, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

Lloyd Long is a leading Philadelphia criminal defense attorney. His law firm defends clients against charges in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. They provide strong legal advocacy during every stage of criminal proceedings. The firm has obtained many favorable case results over the years. Clients praise attorney Long's compassionate and personalized representation.

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Fienman Defense LLC
1608 Walnut St # 900, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

Fienman Defense is a law firm in Philadelphia that helps people accused of crimes. The lawyers listen to your story, explain the law, and fight to get charges reduced or dismissed. They handle cases in Philadelphia and nearby counties. Call Michael Fienman for a free consultation.

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Skinner Law Firm
15 W Gay St 1st floor, West Chester, PA 19380, USA

Skinner Law Firm specializes in criminal defense in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The firm, founded by ex-prosecutor Michael J. Skinner, offers robust defense for DUI, drug offenses, and more. They focus on clients' rights and clear communication. Their experience spans decades, ensuring informed legal strategies for favorable results.

Goldstein Mehta LLC
1717 Arch St Unit 320, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

Goldstein Mehta LLC is an award-winning Philadelphia criminal defense law firm. The experienced attorneys have successfully defended thousands of clients facing criminal charges. They aggressively fight unfair charges at all stages, from investigation through trial and appeal.

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The Fishman Firm
100 S Broad St #1910, Philadelphia, PA 19110, USA

The Fishman Firm provides top-notch legal defense in Philadelphia. Led by former prosecutor Brian Fishman, they assist clients facing DUI, drug possession, and homicide. Fishman fights for the rights of those accused of crimes.

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Alva Law Firm
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 120, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, United States

Alva Foster & Moscow is a Philadelphia law firm with decades of experience. Located in Bala Cynwyd, they focus on criminal defense and personal injury cases. Their attorneys represent clients facing charges like drunk driving and drug offenses. They also pursue justice for accident survivors against insurance companies. Alva Foster & Moscow serves Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino, Jr.

The Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino Jr. is a criminal defense law firm in Philadelphia. Led by a former prosecutor, Richard J. Fuschino Jr., the firm defends clients against criminal charges. They negotiate with prosecutors and advocate to achieve the most favorable outcomes.

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SKA Law Group, LLC
1518 Walnut St # 808, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA

Philadelphia Criminal Lawyers provide legal help for people accused of crimes. Their experienced attorneys can help with charges like theft, assault, and DUI.

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Hughes Law LLC
1617 John F Kennedy Blvd Ste 2005, Philadelphia, PA 19103, USA

Hughes Law excels in criminal defense in Philadelphia. Evan Hughes, the founder, ranks among America's top defense attorneys. The firm tackles major criminal charges, including homicide and federal appeals. They boast a record of impressive case wins. Recognitions include Top 100 Lawyers and Super Lawyers honors. Hughes Law protects clients' rights across various criminal cases.

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Law Office of Mark D. Copoulos
1628 John F Kennedy Blvd #1301, Philadelphia, PA 19103, United States

The Law Offices of Mark D. Copoulos offers legal services in Philadelphia. It specializes in landlord-tenant law, criminal defense, and civil litigation. The firm provides high-level service while maintaining reasonable fees. Led by Top 100 Trial Lawyer Mark Copoulos, they deliver strong advocacy for their clients.

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Kimberley Stuart, LLC
401 NJ-70 #100, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034, United States

Kimberley Stuart Law provides legal services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in criminal defense, juvenile defense, DUI, and municipal law. The firm has been built from our focus on giving each client the personal attention they deserve and getting exceptional results. We pride ourselves on solid relationships with our clients and putting their needs first.

Understanding Criminal Defense: An Overview

When facing criminal charges, it is crucial to understand your rights and options. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is key to building an effective defense. This guide provides an overview of criminal defense and what to expect when navigating the criminal justice system.

What is Criminal Defense?

Criminal defense refers to the advocacy and legal representation for those charged with a crime. A criminal defense lawyer helps understand the charges, builds a strong defense, and negotiates reduced penalties or dismissals. They act as an intermediary between the accused and the prosecutor representing the state.

Defense lawyers handle cases in both state and federal courts . They defend clients against misdemeanors, felonies, and other criminal offenses. Their goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused.

Key Players in a Criminal Case

In addition to the defense attorney and prosecutor, several other key figures play a role in criminal cases:

  • Judge: Presides over trial proceedings and hearings. Determines admissibility of evidence, gives instructions to the jury, and hands down the final sentence upon conviction.
  • Law enforcement: Investigates crimes, gathers evidence, arrests, and testifies during court proceedings.
  • Defendant: The person or party facing criminal charges and accused of committing a crime.
  • Witnesses: Individuals who provide testimony for a case's prosecution or defense side.
  • Jury: Panel of impartial peers who determine guilt or innocence based on evidence and arguments presented in court.

Stages of a Criminal Case

Criminal cases typically move through the following stages:

Arrest and Charging

Police arrest if they have probable cause. The prosecutor then files formal charges. At the initial appearance, bail terms and conditions are often set.

Plea Bargaining

Many cases end through plea bargains between the defense and prosecutor before trial. Defendants plead guilty in exchange for lesser charges or lighter sentencing.

Motions and Hearings

Defense attorneys may file motions challenging evidence or procedures leading up to trial. Evidentiary hearings take place to settle these motions.


The case goes to a bench or jury trial if no plea deal is reached. Both sides present evidence and make arguments before a verdict is reached.


The judge determines penalties and sentencing terms at a separate hearing if convicted. Fines, probation, incarceration, or combinations may apply depending on the case.

The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing criminal prosecution can be an intimidating and high-stakes ordeal. Having knowledgeable legal representation is key to developing an effective defense strategy. Here are some top reasons it’s essential to hire a criminal defense attorney:

Deep Knowledge of Criminal Law

The criminal justice framework comprises complex state and federal laws and court rules. Most defendants don’t fully grasp the intricacies involved. A skilled defense lawyer leverages their expertise to protect clients’ rights through every phase.

Ability to Identify Weaknesses

A good attorney can review police reports, analyze evidence, and identify inconsistencies. Spotting legal holes allows charges to be reduced or dismissed pre-trial.

Effective Defense Planning and Execution

Seasoned lawyers craft defense theories, challenge questionable evidence, locate witnesses, and deliver compelling arguments. Their mastery of trial procedures leads to optimal outcomes.

Guidance on Legal Strategy

The lawyer strategically advises whether to plea bargain or take a case trial. If negotiating with prosecutors, they leverage their skills to secure the best deal possible. These high-stakes decisions often dictate the case’s final result.

Sentencing Mitigation

For clients convicted of crimes, skilled counsel makes a compelling case for reduced sentencing. This can involve highlighting mitigating circumstances, providing character references, or appealing judicial discretion.

In summary, a proficient criminal defense lawyer is an invaluable guide through the complex legal maze. Their expertise can make all the difference.

How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

Selecting the right criminal defense attorney is no easy task. Clients face heavy fines, probation terms, and even years behind bars. Building an air-tight case with the best lawyer improves outcomes. Use these tips when evaluating attorneys:

Verify Qualifications and Licensing

Only hire practicing lawyers with a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited law school. Confirm they hold a valid state license to practice law. Court appointments and Marine Corps training indicate distinguished criminal attorneys.

Assess Relevant Expertise

Seeking counsel well-versed in state or federal criminal law is paramount. Those certified as specialists in criminal trial or defense law prove exemplary qualifications. High Super Lawyer and AV Preeminent attorney ratings also signify expertise.

Examine Track Record and Case History

The ideal attorney has a proven history of favorable verdicts in comparable criminal cases. Request specific case examples and personal references from past clients. High acquittal and dismissal rates reflect positively.

Gauge Trial Ability and Style

Understand how adept they are in the courtroom. Do they excel at cross-examining, delivering opening/closing arguments, persuading judges and juries? Also, assess their manner and how clients describe their approach.

Common Types of Criminal Cases and Defense Strategies

Criminal cases span a broad spectrum, from non-violent misdemeanors to major felonies. Common charges include:

Drug Charges

Drug cases range from possession to trafficking and distribution felonies. The defense often involves questioning the legitimacy of searches or drug testing accuracy. Attorneys also challenge witnesses’ credibility and leverage sentencing options.

DUI Cases

For driving under the influence, defenses dispute blood alcohol content readings and sobriety test protocols. Lawyers may argue clients weren’t driving the vehicle when arrested. Or challenge the technical calibrating processes of breathalyzers.

White Collar Crimes

Tax evasion, embezzlement, money laundering, and fraud fall under white-collar categories. Attorneys dispute paper trails or challenge witnesses’ accounts to undermine prosecution arguments.

Sex Crimes

Accused sex offenders often claim sexual acts were consensual. Lawyers highlight contradictory statements, credibility issues with witnesses/victims, and evidentiary timelines. Reduced sentencing remains the likely goal.

In all cases, lawyers exploit every available angle and argument when mounting a vigorous defense.

The Impact of Criminal Convictions and How to Fight Them

The implications of having a permanent criminal record extend far beyond fines and jail time served. Ongoing stigma and restrictions present marked barriers moving forward. Skilled lawyers aim to avoid undeserved convictions and mitigate penalties.

Long-Term Effects of Criminal Convictions

Beyond reputational damage, those with felony or misdemeanor convictions face:

  • Lost voting and gun ownership rights
  • Barriers accessing jobs, housing, loans
  • Restricted international travel
  • Family law and child custody limitations
  • Social stigma and community exclusion

How Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight Convictions

To help clients avoid unfair, inaccurate convictions, lawyers leverage:

  • Case dismissal motions highlighting procedural technicalities
  • Plea deals to negotiate dropped or reduced charges
  • Sentencing reductions through circumstance mitigation
  • Post-conviction relief and record expungement processes
  • Appeals arguments focused on legal/judicial errors

Through each phase, defense counsel fights to protect defendants’ records, rights, and freedoms for life beyond a case. Avoiding unjust outcomes remains the top priority.

Skilled criminal defense lawyers understand all case complexities and the consequences at stake. Their expertise can mean the difference between smooth societal reintegration or blocked opportunities.