The Law Office of Michael Houghton provides Criminal Defense, Traffic & DUI Defense, Bankruptcy & Credit legal services, Family Law services, and Criminal, Civil, and Summary Appeals from our office in Phoenixville PA.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

If you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, I can represent you at all stages and events:

  • Turn-ins
  • Bail hearings
  • Preliminary arraignments
  • Preliminary hearings
  • Diversionary programs
  • Arraignments
  • Pre-trial litigation
  • Trial
  • Sentencing
  • Post-sentence litigation
  • Criminal appeals

Facing criminal charges can result in incarceration, fines and civil forfeiture. I will attack your case in the most effective way based on my criminal defense experience.

You don’t want to take the risk of losing an opportunity to divert your case to an expungement track because you tried to handle your case yourself. Contact me to discuss your case today.

 

TRAFFIC DEFENSE

I am experienced defending those charged with traffic offenses and/or facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. I defend those cited with traffic offenses in district court, and in common pleas at summary appeal proceedings.

I am focused on giving my clients the best chance at resolving citations in the most favorable way, and at the earliest stage of the proceedings.

Please schedule a consultation with me as early as possible so that I can assess your case at the beginning stages in order to see how we can help you resolve your traffic citations.

BANKRUPTCY & CREDIT

Over the past decade American Consumers have faced challenges as a result of our tumultuous economy. The challenges typically stem from the volatile stock market, stagnant wages and/or periods of high unemployment. Any of these aspects of our economy could work alone, or in combination, to create a situation where you may find yourself without the necessary money to cover your debts. And, assuming that getting an extra job or additional income isn’t an option, you have two basic options.

First, you can work with your creditors to solve the issue(s) that you are having. Sometimes it is a change in interest rate or payment terms. Other times, it can be some kind of forbearance or settlement. If those options aren’t available, then your second option is considering filing for Bankruptcy.

I have had success in helping my clients settle with creditors in order to close troublesome accounts. While there is a temporary dip in credit score, this tactic can avoid bankruptcy and create some immediate relief. Sometimes, with a lump-sum payment, accounts can be settled at a discount of around 35% of the principal.

CRIMINAL, CIVIL, AND SUMMARY APPEALS

In Pennsylvania, there are three basic kinds of appeals in our courts (as opposed to federal): summary appeals, appeals to the Pennsylvania Superior Court (or Commonwealth Court), and the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

If you have been charged with a summary offense in Pennsylvania and no other offense (e.g. misdemeanor or felony) is charged along with it, then you will be entitled to a summary trial at the local Magisterial District Court. The most frequent example of this kind of trial is for a traffic ticket. Should you not achieve the result that you desire at that lever, you do have the ability to appeal it to the Court of Common Pleas.

At the Court of Common Pleas your matter will be heard anew – de novo, as we attorneys call it. You will have a chance at discussing the matter with a representative from the District Attorney’s office and see if a deal can be reached, or if it should be tried again. Sometimes, you need to appeal the matter in order to avail yourself to some diversionary programs. If you think that you were treated unfairly at the Magisterial District Court, or simply didn’t get the result that you wanted, set up a time to talk with me to see if a summary appeal is appropriate for you.

FAMILY LAW

Family law issues cause common and stressful cases. Most family law cases involve intertwining elements such as spousal support, child support, custody, divorce and alimony.

During these proceedings, or ancillary to orders issued in light of such matters, other family law litigation issues may arise such as contempt, petitions for modification, and/or petitions for special relief. These kinds of matters can be overwhelming if you are representing yourself.

  • For example, if you file for divorce you can join claims for custody, spousal support, alimony, and other issues within the divorce complaint itself. You can also file for many of these matters individually as separate filings. And, regardless of how filed, you will need to navigate through the requirements of the prothonotary and/or family court administration to ensure proper formatting and other filing requirements.

This can be very challenging for the average person who has to manage the stress of a job and a fracturing home in addition to meeting filing requirements in order to have their day in court and move on with their life.

I have experience in handling these family law matters, and can help you navigate the legal challenges and stress of your particular case. Call me today for a free consultation so that I can tell you how I can help you.