Misdemeanor and Felony
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 offense such as traffic matters, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, loitering and harassment. The maximum sentence in a summary offense is 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. In most case 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 on a 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 on a 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.
Why you need a private attorney
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 mitch a certain level of assets or else you won’t qualify an attorney who can assist.
When convicted of a felony crime, you risk losing freedoms such as your ability to vote; running for a public office; getting financial aid for education; receiving governmental benefits and/or owning a firearm. Sometimes the attorneys job isn’t to fight your case as much as it is to get the best possible attorney for each victim.
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. 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.