If you have been arrested or charged with a misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you face tough sentencing guidelines and could spend up to five years in prison and be sentenced to pay fines of up to $10,000, among other penalties.
There are different classifications of misdemeanor in PA depending on the type of crime: first, second and third, with first-degree being the most severe.
A misdemeanor is a lighter classification than a felony, which could sentence you to prison for life. But with a misdemeanor, you still face prison time, big fines and the stigma of having a criminal record, which could wreck your future and cost you your job, your license, as well as make it difficult to find housing and get loans.
It is important to not feel hopeless or powerless if you have been charged with a misdemeanor. Until you have been convicted of a crime, there are many options to defend your innocence, your rights and your liberties.
A skilled and aggressive lawyer will work toward building a strong legal defense to have your charges reduced or your case dismissed.
For expert answers regarding your situation, call an experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer for a free legal consultation.
Pittsburgh Attorney Christopher Thomas has years of experience in defending the rights of people in Western Pennsylvania. Contact him today.
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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grades different crimes with different classifications: summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.
It is possible that if you have been charged with multiple misdemeanors, the crime classification could be increased to a felony. Penalties are also highly dependent on whether it is a first offense or second, third and so on.
The types of crimes that are usually classified as misdemeanors could include:
In certain circumstances, there may be no grading of a misdemeanor.
The penalties the judge may sentence you to are highly dependent on whether this is a first offense or if you have been previously convicted of a similar offense.
Pennsylvania judges do have discretion when sentencing for some crimes and it is not uncommon for penalties to be reduced to probation or requiring community service in lieu of jail time. However, certain crimes carry mandatory minimum sentences in Pennsylvania and the judge is required to sentence you to at least the minimum penalty set, if you are convicted. This is why it is important to have an experienced attorney to try to negotiate for a lesser charge or fight for your innocence.
A complete list of offenses and their penalties can be found on the website of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code
A conviction for a misdemeanor can have far-reaching consequences, besides jail time and heavy fines. Indirect penalties such as losing your license and having a criminal record can ruin your future.
Having a criminal record that is easily accessible to employers, universities, lenders and potential landlords makes it difficult to find employment, housing and get financial aide.
Fighting your misdemeanor charges through an experienced legal defense is the best way to protect your freedom and liberties.
Call an experienced and aggressive Pittsburgh Assault Lawyer today for a free legal consultation.
HOW SMA LAW GROUP CAN HELP
At SMA Law Group, we want to make a positive difference in our clients’ lives. We know people make mistakes and we know that penalties for committing mistakes are sometimes very harsh. We are skilled and experienced at winning cases and fighting for the charges to be reduced or dropped altogether.
We will work diligently to ensure that your side of the story is the one the judge understands and believes. We will negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or withdrawn. We will use all our legal knowledge and ability to get the best possible outcome for your case.
Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.
Call Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal evaluation of your case.
Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future on track.
Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.
SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.
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