Bensalem Attorney Skilled in Criminal Defense and Bankruptcy Matters

With a population of about 60,000 residents, Bensalem Township is the largest municipality in the southernmost part of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It has a total area of 21 square miles and is made up of several communities. It was founded in 1692. The township is home to a thoroughbred horseracing track, a casino, the Mission Center and National Shrine of St. Katherine Drexel, Mongkoltepmunee Buddhist Temple, and the Cornwall Heights SEPTA station. Both an NBC pilot episode for the television program Outlaw and scenes from the M. Night Shyamalan movie Signs were filmed in Bensalem. If you are charged with a crime or need to file for bankruptcy in this area, you may be worried about what the future will bring. Experienced lawyer John M. Kenney can help prepare your case and protect your rights.

Filing for Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to discharge your debts and seek a fresh start. The trustee for your bankruptcy case will collect your assets and sell those that are not exempt. The trustee will distribute the net proceeds from the sale to creditors.

In Pennsylvania, you can elect to use federal exemptions or state exemptions. Unlike some other states, the Pennsylvania exemption system does not permit a homestead exemption. However, you can protect your house's equity if you and your spouse own it as a tenancy by the entirety or by using the federal exemption system. Pennsylvania also has a wild card exemption that allows you to exempt $300 of any property.

You should be aware that certain debts cannot be discharged through bankruptcy. These include spousal support, child support, student loans, and debts incurred through fraud. You can eliminate credit card debt, medical debt, and other unsecured debts. Moreover, for those with substantial assets and sufficient income, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy and repaying debts over a 3-5 year period can be a better choice. There are more tools available to Chapter 13 debtors, such as the ability to strip junior mortgages that are not secured and the ability to cram down certain loans when the purchased object is worth less than the amount of the loan.

Protect Your Rights Against the Prosecution

Mr. Kenney can also help you respond to criminal charges if you in trouble with the law, and help you seek to minimize the impact a finding of wrongdoing can have on your life. For example, drug crime convictions can result in substantial penalties. In Pennsylvania, "controlled dangerous substances" are ranked in five different schedules. Schedule I drugs, such as crack cocaine and heroin, are those that have the highest potential for abuse and are not associated with accepted medical uses. A drug charge associated with Schedule I carries the highest penalties. Generally, manufacturing or selling controlled dangerous substances is penalized with harsher fines and longer periods of incarceration than possession of small amounts. Some common defenses to drug charges include lack of intent or knowledge, insufficient quantity of the drug, a license to carry the drug, unlawful search, and seizure and entrapment. There are mandatory minimum sentences for drug trafficking and certain factors that can increase a convicted defendant's sentence, such as possessing a weapon in connection with the drug crime.

Seek Legal Guidance in Bensalem to Fight Charges or File for Bankruptcy

Whether you are dealing with a challenging level of debt or a criminal investigation, your future may depend on the effectiveness and knowledge of your attorney. Bucks County attorney John M. Kenney has helped many individuals file for bankruptcy or mount a strong criminal defense in Bensalem and the surrounding area. Contact him at (215) 547-3031 or by completing our online form.