Understanding Misdemeanor And Felony Charges In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has three primary levels of grading criminal offenses based on how serious the offense that occurred was. There are generally mandatory minimums and maximums sentences and fines depending on the classification and degree of the offenses.
The various offense levels are:
- Summary offenses are minor offenses such as traffic matters, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, loitering and harassment. The maximum sentence for a summary offense is 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. In most cases having a great Montgomery County Criminal Attorney (Hyperlink) will result in just a fine for this sort of offense.
- Misdemeanor offenses are in the middle. They might result in a sentence involving incarceration, smaller fines and temporary punishments like probation. Examples could include smaller drug-related offenses, terroristic threats, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and simple assault. Misdemeanor offenses are graded as M1, M2, M3 or Ungraded level with M1 being the most serious. If convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor you could face up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine whereas a third-degree misdemeanor could result in a one-year sentence with a $2,500 fine.
- Felony offenses are the most serious crimes in Pennsylvania. Examples are major drug offenses such as possession with intent to deliver (PWID), robbery, rape, murder, or burglary. These offenses generally result in jail time and may carry large prison sentences, fines, and loss of other freedom. Felony offenses are graded as F1, F2, F3 or Ungraded level with F1 being the most serious. Certain felonies (such as murder) could result in a potential life in prison sentence. A first-degree felony that isn’t for murder could result in up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
When you contact Rick Law, our attorneys can help you understand the charges you are facing and the potential consequences. Then, we will set to work building the strongest available defense strategy.
What An Attorney Can Do For You
When convicted of a felony crime, you risk losing freedoms such as your ability to vote, run for a public office, get financial aid for education, receive government benefits and/or own a firearm. Sometimes the attorney’s job isn’t to fight your case as much as it is to minimize the consequences you will face.
For those of you who can’t afford a private attorney, if you are incarcerated, a public defender can likely be provided for you. If you not incarcerated, you will need to match a certain level of assets or else you won’t qualify for an attorney who can assist.
Don’t Wait To Seek Skilled Legal Help
A Montgomery County criminal attorney or DUI lawyer may be able to help you build an effective and well-reasoned defense to the charges to protect your rights. If you are facing criminal charges, click here to schedule a free telephone consultation with Eric Steckerl at our Pottstown office for assistance as soon as possible. For general inquiries, you can contact our firm online or call us at 610-850-9036.