Life is full of ups and downs and everyone makes mistakes on occasion. However, some mistakes are more costly than others and can end up impacting you for the rest of your life. This holds true with criminal charges. Whether it is a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony, a criminal charge can result in jail times, costly fines, and license suspension. Aside from the legal consequences, criminal charges can damages your personal reputation and our professional success.
If you or a loved one recently received criminal charges, you have a limited window of opportunity to act. You should take the opportunity to contact an Allegheny County criminal attorney. With qualified representation, you can greatly increase your chances of reducing or clearing your criminal charges. Attorneys at SMA Law Group have years of experience navigating the many complexities of Pennsylvania criminal charges. Through a blend of compassion towards your situation and aggressive defense in the courtroom, our attorneys can provide the counsel and representation you need to increase the likelihood of reduced or cleared charges.
Criminal Charges in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania can be particularly harsh in punishing criminal charges. Pennsylvania punishes crimes using a classification system. Along with summary and ungraded offenses, crimes can be considered a misdemeanor or felony of the first, second, or third degree.
Each classification increase in severity of punishment, with first class crimes being the most severe. Some crimes, such as murder, receive their own forms of classification. Aside from the classification system, Pennsylvania uses a controversial mandatory minimum sentencing for crimes like rape and aggravated assault.
There are many offenses in Pennsylvania that can result in a criminal charge. Some common criminal charges include the following
- Assault: Depending on the severity and target of the assault, you could be charged with simple or aggravated assault. Both carry significant legal consequences in Pennsylvania.
- DUI: DUI criminal charges occur when a person is found to be operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. penalties vary depending on, among other factors, the Blood Alcohol Content(BAC) and number of previous offenses.
- Fraud: Fraud is a form of white collar crime that can result in serious legal and professional ramifications. Some common forms of fraud include homeowner fraud, insurance fraud, and identity fraud
- Theft: In Pennsylvania, a number of offenses can result in theft charges, including unlawful taking, theft by deception, retail theft, and burglary.
- Robbery: Robbery is a more serious form of theft that includes causing or threating injury to another person in the process of stealing property.
- Sex Crimes: In Pennsylvania, various acts—sexting, online solicitation, molestation of a minor, indecent assault, statuary rape—can result in being charged with a sex crime. Having to register as a sex offender is a punishment exclusive to sex crimes and can cause lasting humiliation.