It is one of the great ironies of American culture that in this “free” country, we have the highest rate of incarcerations in the world. While the United States is home to only five percent of the world’s population, we hold 25 percent of the global prison population . . . which begs the question, what do we mean by a free country? Locking people up for a wide range of crimes is a feature of American society, but if you’ve been accused of a crime, the outcome will often hinge on the quality of legal representation you have. The United States Constitution contains provisions designed to protect the accused in various ways. On paper, our justice system looks good, and yet our government strips away the freedom of so many. While we do have constitutional rights, they are of little use unless we fully avail ourselves of those rights. This begins with asserting your right to counsel immediately if you have been questioned, arrested, or detained by law enforcement. Call an experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney at the first hint that you are being accused of a crime, even if charges have not yet been filed.In Pittsburgh and throughout Western Pennsylvania, you can find the experienced representation that will protect your freedom, finances, and future by calling the law offices of attorney Gary Gerson. With more than 25 years of criminal defense experience, Gary knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system—both at the state and federal level ̶ and he is deeply and passionately committed to ensuring that every one of his clients who has been accused of a crime receives the full protection afforded by the U.S. Constitution. He has a long record of having charges dropped or reduced and of obtaining acquittals at trial. In some cases, if you get him involved at the very earliest stages, he may even be able to prevent having charges filed at all. IF YOU QUALIFY FOR A PUBLIC DEFENDER… THINK TWICE. Your constitutional right to counsel can be fulfilled by assigning you a public defender. But even if finances are an issue, accepting the services of a PD may not be your best choice. Certainly many of the attorneys working in the Public Defender’s office are smart and committed to justice. But they are also over-worked, often carrying hundreds of cases at a time, making it virtually impossible for them to give any one case the amount of attention that every criminal case deserves. They do their best, but with that kind of a caseload, they need to dispose of as many cases as possible, in the least possible amount of time. If your freedom and reputation are important to you, you need more—you need a Pittsburgh criminal lawyer who is dedicated to and focused on your needs, and who has the time to ensure that your rights are fully protected and to raise an aggressive defense in your behalf.While you may be concerned about the cost of hiring a private defense lawyer, doing so may turn out to be financially advantageous. You can’t work for a living if you end up in jail, and on top of jail time, many criminal sentences contain high fines. Compared to the potential costs of a conviction, the cost of having the right lawyer is usually extremely small and well worth the expense.Even if you think you can’t afford a private attorney, give Gary Gerson a call. Payment plans are available. Having the right lawyer working for you, depending on the circumstances of your case, can make the difference between suffering from incarceration, fines, disenfranchisement, and loss of your reputation and being able to return to your home, your job, and your community relatively unscathed.