If you have been charged with a crime, we know that you may be wondering what to do next. If you are facing felony charges, you need to secure a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible. There is too much at stake not to.
Guilty convictions for felony charges come with serious consequences, including prison time, fines, and a damaged reputation. At the SMA Law Group, we will work to build a strong defensive strategy around your case. When you need a Washington County felony charges attorney, call us today.
These Are Serious Charges
Felony offenses are the most serious charges a person can face in Pennsylvania. They carry the possibility of major prison time and monetary punishments. In Pennsylvania, there are three categories of felony charges:
- First-Degree Felony: 10 to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
- Examples include rape, kidnapping, arson, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
- Second-Degree Felony: 5 to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
- Examples include sexual assault, burglary, indecent assault, and aggravated assault.
- Third-Degree Felony: 3.5 to 7 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
- Examples include terroristic threats, possession of child pornography, and theft of property valued at more than $2,000.
Which charge a defendant faces depends on what crime has been committed as well as the circumstances surrounding the crime.
*Please note that there are non-categorized crimes that have their own sentences.
What About Murder Charges?
Murder is a non-categorized crime and the penalties are much harsher:
- First-degree murder is the most serious criminal statute in Pennsylvania and is given if it is believed that a homicide is done intentionally with deliberate premeditated planning. Penalties for being found guilty include life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
- Second-degree murder is given when a person is an accomplice anyone who actually commits murder. This is punishable by life in prison with no parole.
- Third-degree murder is a sort of “catch-all” for murder charges that do not meet the above two thresholds and is often applied when someone kills another person with a weapon even though they did not intend to kill them. This is punishable with a prison sentence of 10 to 20 years.
Moving On From Here
If you or a loved one is facing felony charges in Pennsylvania, please secure an attorney as soon as possible. Aside from the penalties listed above, there are lifelong consequences to being found guilty of a felony, including having a permanent mark on your criminal record. As quickly as possible, you want to ensure that someone is working on the defense, investigating your case, listening to you, and being your advocate against an aggressive prosecution.