In America, felony charges are accompanied with some of most serious penalties. Pennsylvania is no exception and any felony charge can permanently derail your future outlooks. Aside from murder charges, felony charges are the most serious form of punishment the state offers. In Pennsylvania, felonies are classified in the third, second, and first degree. Felony charges can result in years of imprisonment and tens of thousands of dollars in fines.
If you or a loved one were charged with a felony charged, you need to reach out to a felony charge attorney immediately. Any possibility to reduce or clear your charges must be pursued with the utmost effort. At Stewart, Murray, and Associates (SMA) Law Group approach every case with invaluable experience, compassion, and aggression in the courtroom. In these trying times, there is so much at stake. Put your trust in an attorney with a history of success.
Felony Classifications in Pennsylvania
The three classifications of felonies in Pennsylvania are first, second, and third-degree felonies. Each carry harsh penalties, but the severity can range significantly between classifications.
Felonies of the third degree carry the least severe punishments in regard to felony charges. With that being said, consequences from third degree felonies are still quite severe. If you are charged with a third degree felony, you can potentially face imprisonment of up to seven years. Additionally, you could receive fines of $15,000. Some examples of third degree felonies include multiple DUI offenses, serious drug convictions, and firearm possession charges.
Second degree felonies can have considerably higher penalties than felonies of the third degree. Maximum fines can increase to $25,000 and prison sentences can last up to ten years. Common second degree felonies include certain forms of vandalism, assault, sexual crimes, and burglary.
First degree felonies carry the most significant penalties. While fines are congruent with felonies of the second degree, jail time can increase to 20 years. Some examples of felonies of the first degree include drug distribution, aggravated assault, and rape charges. Certain crimes like possession of a deadly weapon, gang activity or sex crimes against minors can increase penalties of all classifications of felonies.
Pennsylvania is unique in felony charges in the aspect that many crimes carry minimum mandatory sentencing. The constitutional validity of mandatory minimum sentences is often debated, but they are currently in effect in Pennsylvania. Aggravated assault, deceptive theft and rape are some common crimes that have minimum sentences ranging from one to five years.