John S. Han
Criminal Defense Attorney in Montgomery County, PA

Criminal defense attorney John S. Han represents clients facing investigation and prosecution by both State and Federal Law Enforcement authorities for felony criminal violations.

High Swartz LLP
Norristown Law Office

Montgomery County, PA

“I am deeply committed to applying my courtroom and life experiences to help my clients achieve equal justice under the law.” - John S. Han

Experience Matters.

John S. Han is a criminal defense lawyer with prior experience as a:

  • Federal Prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Trial lawyer in the DOJ's Organized Crime and Gangs Section
  • Military Trial Judge with the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary
  • Assistant DA with the Philadelphia District Attorney's office
  • Public defender in the U.S. Navy

He represents clients facing investigation and prosecution by State and Federal Law Enforcement authorities throughout Pennsylvania, including Montgomery, Bucks, Philadelphia, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Legal Cases

Charges: Criminal Trespass (Felony of the 3rd Degree) and Possession of an Instrument of Crime (Misdemeanor of the 1st Degree) – Bucks County Court of Common Pleas, PA –  December 2023

Attorney John S. Han was tasked court-appointed case to represent a client charged with criminal trespass, a 3rd degree felony and possession of an instrument of crime, a 1st degree misdemeanor. A contested bench trial commenced before Judge Gary Gilman but the criminal court found the client not guilty of all charges.

Charges: Drug Possession - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, June 13, 2022

Client charged with drug possession (ungraded misdemeanor) during a traffic stop by the PA State Police. Attorney John S. Han successfully argued a motion to suppress the drugs recovered from his client. The Montgomery County Court found that evidence was recovered from an unlawful search and seizure and suppressed the evidence. Based on this ruling, the prosecutor dismissed the case.

Charges: Escape, Resisting Arrest and Criminal Trespass - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, June 2022

John's client was charged with escape (3rd degree felony), resisting arrest (2nd degree misdemeanor), and criminal trespass (3rd  degree misdemeanor). The client was acquitted of all charges after John concluded with a bench trial.

Charges: Leader of Nationwide Drug trafficking, firearms trafficking, and racketeering enterprise including 100+ felony counts - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, July 2022

John's client was charged with being the leader of a massive racketeering enterprise involving a nationwide drug trafficking operation. The client faced over one hundred felonies including racketeering, drug, and firearms charges.

Attorney John S. Han successfully negotiated a plea agreement where the District Attorney’s Office dropped the state racketeering charges in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges, a sentence of time-served and probation.

Charges: Retail theft – 6 felony counts - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, July 2022

John's client was charged with 6 separate retail thefts (3rd degree felonies). John successfully convinced the District Attorney to move all six cases into Montgomery County Drug Treatment Court.

Charges: First Degree Murder – Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, November 2022

Attorney Han's client was charged with first degree murder, second degree murder, third degree murder, conspiracy, and robbery. John successfully negotiated a plea agreement where the DA’s Office dropped the murder charges in exchange to a guilty plea to robbery.

Charges: RICO and firearms trafficking – Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, November 2022

Client charged with being part of a racketeering enterprise involving firearms trafficking (felony of the 1st degree). John successfully negotiated a plea agreement where the DA’s Office dropped the state racketeering charges in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges and sentence of time served and probation.

Charges: Drug Possession with Intent to Deliver (ungraded felony) and felony gun possession (2nd degree felony) - Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, PA, May 2022

John's client was charged with felony drug possession with intent to deliver and felony gun possession offenses. Attorney Han successfully negotiated a plea agreement where client pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and sentenced to no further penalty.

John's experience in criminal law encompasses the following federal felony crimes:

Federal Offenses

  • Murder
  • RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations)
  • Violent Crimes
  • Firearm Offenses
  • Drug Offenses
  • Extortion
  • Bribery
  • Conspiracy
  • Wire Fraud
  • Mail Fraud
  • Theft
  • Illegal Gambling
  • Loan Sharking
  • Child Pornography
  • Transport of Stolen Property

For 15 years as a federal prosecutor, John handled the most complex and wide-ranging RICO cases against the Mafia and other organized crime groups. He knows all the tactics and methods used to conduct federal investigations and prosecutions. John will bring this knowledge and experience to defend his clients against federal law enforcement actions.

State Crimes

John also represents clients facing investigation and prosecution by State Law Enforcement authorities for criminal violations, such as those listed below.

  • Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Assault
  • Conspiracy
  • Terroristic Threats
  • Rape / Sexual Assault
  • Burglary
  • Criminal Trespass
  • Theft
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Fraud
  • Drug Offenses
  • Firearm Offenses
  • Child Pornography
  • Illegal Gambling
  • DUI

As a Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney for six years, John prosecuted serious felony jury trials involving violent crime, drug trafficking, and public corruption.

He knows his way around the courtroom. John will leverage his substantial trial experience to provide high-quality and zealous representation of clients facing state criminal prosecution.

Military Criminal Defense

John represents clients facing the following military proceedings:

  • General Court-Martial
  • Special Court-Martial
  • Article 32 Preliminary Hearings
  • Administrative Separation Discharge Boards
  • Boards of Inquiry

As a military judge for four years, he also presided over numerous courts-martial involving sexual assault and other violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. John spent five years specializing in defending clients accused of sexual assault. John will apply the broad scope and depth of his experience to assist military service members facing court-martial and administrative separation discharge boards.


High Swartz Brings on Ex-Federal Prosecutor, Resurrecting Criminal Defense Practice | by Amanda O'Brien | The Legal Intelligencer


About John S. Han

Born in Seoul, South Korea, John S. Han immigrated to the United States with his parents and younger sister at six. He would later graduate with Class Honors from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics in 1990. John then attended The American University, Washington College of Law, earning his Juris Doctor Degree in 1993. Before graduating from law school, John accepted a commission as an officer in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps and served on active duty from 1993 to 1999. During his naval service, John successfully performed duties as a defense counsel, prosecutor, and general counsel. As a defense counsel stationed in San Francisco, California, and Naples, Italy, John provided high-quality and zealous representation of Navy and Marine Corps service members charged with serious felony offenses involving murder, sexual assault, drug trafficking, and fraud. He obtained 7sevenfull acquittals in contested trials on behalf of his clients.

John received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy in 1999. From 2000 to the present, he has continued his military service in the United States Navy Reserve. Respected for his extensive trial experience, knowledge of the law, and superior writing ability, John was appointed to the bench in 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he served as a Military Trial Judge for the Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary. He presided over felony court-martial cases involving sexual assault, violent crime, drug trafficking, child pornography, and fraud. In addition to his judicial experience, John served as the Commanding Officer of two Reserve units and currently holds the rank of Captain in the United States Navy Reserve. From 2000 to 2006, John served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. In this capacity, he prosecuted numerous jury and bench trials in cases involving public corruption, fraud, white-collar crime, and violent crime. John was the lead prosecutor in complex and lengthy grand jury investigations. He also conducted criminal investigations of police officers accused of wrongful use of deadly force, corruption, and civil rights violations.

In December 2006, John left the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to begin his career as a Trial Attorney in the United States Department of Justice in the Organized Crime and Gang Section. From 2006 to 2021, he investigated and prosecuted major federal RICO and Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering cases against national and international organized crime groups, including the Mafia and violent street gangs. From 2008 to 2019, John successfully prosecuted several members and associates of the Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra Family. In these complex and wide-ranging prosecutions of criminal organizations, he acquired substantial experience conducting financial investigations, pursuing wiretap investigations, and charging fraud and money laundering offenses.

John sits on the Board of Directors for the Montgomery Bar Association and is a Judicial Council Member for the National Asian Pacific Bar Association. He was honored when selected to serve on the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel in the Eastern District of PA.  The CJA panel is comprised of attorneys chosen by the Board of Judges who possess the competence, experience, and commitment to provide outstanding criminal defense representation for indigent people facing prosecution in federal criminal cases.

Get to Know Criminal Defense Attorney in Montgomery County, PA John S. Han

Affiliations & Honors

Bar Leadership

  • Montgomery County Bar Association, Board of Directors (2023 to present)
  • Hearing Committee Member, Disciplinary Board of Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (2023 to present)
  • Merit Selection Panel Member for Re-Appointment of U.S. Magistrate Judges for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2022-2023)
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Judicial Council Member (2010 to present)


Community Service

Professional Honors

Military Honors

  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Navy Achievement Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

Practice Areas


Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces


  • American University Washington College of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Michigan - B.A. - Economics
  • New York University - Economics and Political Justice

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Korean - Native proficiency
  • Italian - Professional working proficiency

Legal Insights

Client Testimonials

Matt S.

Excellent attorney, two separate cases each with offers of 5 to 10 years were pled down to a year because John was prepared to take them to trial. I recommend him and no one else.