Criminal Law

Led by Deborah Nixon, a former prosecutor with 25 years of experience in the Office of the Philadelphia District Attorney, including nearly 2,000 bench and jury trials, F&E’s criminal defense practice can provide representation to clients in connection with:

  • Arraignments
  • Bail Proceedings
  • Pre-charging and pre-trial motions
  • Evidentiary issues
  • Pre-trial investigations and hearings
  • Bench and jury trials
  • Post-sentencing issues
  • Appeals
  • Expungement

Leveraging the diverse experience of practitioners with deep knowledge of Pennsylvania and Federal Criminal Procedure, including District Attorneys and Law Clerks to judges handling criminal matters, the criminal lawyers at F&E will assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and formulate a strategy to achieve the best result and the quickest resolution. Learn more about Fellheimer & Eichen’s criminal law practice here.

White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes, sometimes called business crimes, include

  • Fraud, including healthcare fraud (stealing from hospitals, doctors and insurance companies)
  • Bribery
  • Insider trading
  • Embezzlement
  • Computer crimes

If you’ve been accused of a business-related crime or believe you may be under investigation, contact the criminal lawyers at F&E. We understand the complex state and federal laws that apply to these cases, and will zealously investigate and defend you against any charges. With careful investigation and aggressive lawyering, our attorneys will try to convince the authorities to drop and dismiss your case.

Defendants often fail to take white collar matters seriously because they are nonviolent crimes. But these offenses can cause serious financial damage to the victims and prosecutors typically prosecute defendants charged with business crimes to the fullest extent of the law. A conviction for a white-collar crime can affect your educational and professional opportunities for the rest of your life.

Corporate Theft/Securities Crimes

Corporate executives and businesspeople can be charged with corporate theft or securities-related crimes in a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Unauthorized spending of funds from client accounts
  • Altered or falsified receipts or account information
  • Underreported profits
  • Fraudulent billing from a fake vendor account
  • Fraudulent payment of phantom employees
  • Insider trading
  • False accounting entries

F&E’s criminal lawyers help clients weigh their options between cooperating with their employers (and law enforcement) and fighting the charges. Losing a well-compensated job can be devastating, but a prison sentence is worse.

We will investigate the facts and circumstances around your criminal charges—or the allegations being made by your company if it hasn’t yet contacted the authorities. We provide strategic advice and aggressive representation so that you fully understand each possible decision and its consequences.

With years of experience prosecuting financial crimes, F&E’s criminal lawyers are well positioned to anticipate the range of actions prosecutors and DAs may take and to negotiate plea agreements. If you choose to fight your charges, we will mount a relentless defense.


The federal RICO Act is designed to deter organized crime by applying severe penalties to individuals convicted of committing or conspiring to commit “racketeering activity.” Racketeering is operating an illegal business for profit or engaging in a fraudulent scheme or enterprise. There are 36 state and federal crimes that can form the basis of a RICO crime if they are committed as part of a criminal enterprise, including:

  • Illegal Gambling
  • Bribery
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Money Laundering
  • Counterfeiting
  • Human Trafficking
  • Drug Trafficking
  • Embezzlement

Racketeering prosecutions and defenses usually involve very complicated legal issues. To ensure your defense, you need skilled criminal lawyers with experience defending against racketeering charges. If you have been charged under RICO or a state racketeering law, or believe that a charge may be imminent, contact F&E for a free consultation.

Student Discipline Violations

High school or college students suspected of academic or personal misconduct can find themselves subject to a formal disciplinary process that can have severe consequences, including:

  • Suspension
  • Dismissal
  • Expulsion
  • Letters of reprimand
  • Academic probation

With an adverse decision permanently entered on a transcript or official record, the student’s future academic and employment opportunities can be affected.

Students charged or arrested for a crime—even one unrelated to school conduct–can also be charged with violating their school’s conduct code with a similar range of possible bad outcomes.

F&E’s criminal lawyers defend students dealing with school disciplinary proceedings to protect their rights and help prevent–or at least minimize–the life-changing consequences these tribunals can have. Our work in connection with student disciplinary violations often runs in parallel to our defense of those clients in the law enforcement and judicial proceedings for the crimes charged by the state.

Students and parents often don’t seek legal advice for school disciplinary matters until it’s too late. Important rights can be lost or waived if you don’t act promptly, especially since hearings are often held just days after charges are brought.

Call F&E’s criminal lawyers for a consultation about your student’s school disciplinary matters. An experienced advocate is your best defense when serious charges are brought by a high school or college.

Hobbs Act/Robbery

Robbery is typically a state-based crime subject to local law enforcement and prosecution, but the federal Hobbs Act makes robbery and extortion (and attempts and conspiracies to commit those crimes) a federal crime if they affect interstate commerce. Although Hobbs Act charges are typically reserved for acts of public corruption by governmental officials, US Attorneys will often add Hobbs Act charges to cases involving other federal crimes — like racketeering offenses charged under RICO or securities fraud.

F&E’s criminal lawyers have extensive experience defending clients against financial crimes, including Hobbs Act charges brought in federal court. Call us or contact us online for a confidential consultation about your case.

Child Abuse, Neglect and Pornography

Few criminal offenses generate the type of reaction that a child abuse, neglect or pornography charge or arrest can bring. Just the mention of a child-related crime can ruin lives and destroy families.

Criminal allegations of child abuse, neglect or pornography are serious and require the immediate attention of a criminal defense lawyer who has helped clients overcome such charges. The defense lawyers at F&E will initiate an investigation of the charges, aggressively contest the allegations, and present an aggressive, effective case in court.

These cases require a complete factual and legal analysis and we use an extensive network of top experts, investigators and professionals who assist us to ensure that your defense is well prepared and persuasively presented.

To discuss your criminal charges for child abuse (or other crimes against children) with an experienced attorney, contact F&E to schedule a confidential consultation.


A murder or homicide charge is the most serious situation that a defendant can face. F&E can mount an aggressive defense to the most common types of homicide charges:

  • First Degree Murder
  • Capital Murder
  • Second-Degree Murder
  • Felony Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Involuntary Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

We have the skills to thoroughly investigate your case and analyze the evidence to determine if any of it can be challenged and excluded. If we are involved immediately, we can assist you with interactions with law enforcement and protect your rights during questioning. We understand how DAs work and will do our best to convince them to drop or reduce charges due to insufficient evidence.

Civil Fraud

When civil fraud is committed, it typically means that someone has been misled and cheated. A victim of civil fraud has the right to sue the perpetrator in court to obtain remedies, including restitution and the victim’s attorneys’ fees and expenses. Civil fraud exists in a transaction if:

  • A material fact has been misrepresented.
  • The person who perpetrated the fraud did so knowingly.
  • The victim relied on the misrepresentation and was injured as a result.

If you have been the victim of civil fraud or are being accused of committing civil fraud, the lawyers at F&E can represent you. With extensive prior experience prosecuting criminal fraud, F&E’s criminal lawyers are the ideal advocates for you whether you are:

  • Seeking restitution from a person or business who chested you.
  • Defending yourself from false or unfair accusations that you defrauded someone in a business transaction.

We handle cases involving various types of civil fraud, including:

  • Securities fraud
  • Credit card fraud/Debit card fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Insurance fraud
  • Tax fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Medical billing fraud
  • Internet fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Wire fraud

Drug-Related Crimes

If you or a family member has been charged with a drug crime, your choice of a criminal defense lawyer is crucial. The penalties for drug crimes include harsh fines and possible jail time. Even after you serve your time, your conviction is public information available to future employers, professional licensing boards, and schools. You need experienced defense counsel, like the criminal lawyers at F&E, to protect your future. We handle the full range of Pennsylvania and federal drug crimes, including:

  • Illegal possession
  • Conspiracy
  • Crimes involving Schedules I, II, III, IV and V drugs
  • Manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to distribute
  • Misbranding a controlled substance
  • Acquiring controlled substances by fraud (illegally obtaining a prescription drug)
  • Possession of steroids

As part of your case we’ll take a close look at all of your interactions with law enforcement, including any searches, seizures and questioning to determine whether your rights under the US Constitution were violated.

Domestic Violence

Pennsylvania law does not set out a separate criminal charge of “domestic violence.” Instead, defendants face criminal charges that have additional consequences because of a preexisting relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. And once a criminal case is categorized as domestic violence, there may be accompanying civil claims and penalties in addition to the criminal proceedings.

It is critical to have an attorney on your side who understands how to handle all aspects of a domestic violence case. Many prosecutor’s and DA offices, including Philadelphia’s, have special units dedicated to domestic violence crimes. These units typically pursue these cases even if the victim recants his or her story or decides not to press charges.

Domestic violence often involves husbands and wives, but the laws governing these crimes also apply to same-sex spouses, fiancés, cohabitants, parents of the same child, dating partners, and persons who were formerly in such relationships with the defendant. F&E defends clients against the full range of domestic violence charges, including:

  • Assault
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Endangerment
  • Domestic Battery
  • False Imprisonment
  • Criminal Threats
  • Stalking
  • Weapons Charges

Unfortunately, domestic violence allegations are sometimes used strategically in divorce and custody proceedings. If you believe that you have been falsely accused of domestic violence or were acting in self-defense, our criminal lawyers will mount a defense based on your side of the story and help get the charges dropped.

© 2021 Fellheimer & Eichen LLP
Attorney Advertising  |  Disclaimer  |  Sitemap