While it may seem like misdemeanor charges are minor and do not need to be taken seriously, nothing could be farther from the truth. These charges stay on your record just like felony charges and can have serious consequences in your life.
At SMT Legal, our qualified and experienced team understands the laws around misdemeanor charges and will work to support you throughout your case. We will work to organize a successful defense strategy around you when you need an experienced misdemeanor charges lawyer.
What Can Happen?
In Pennsylvania, there are three levels of misdemeanor charges: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. First degree misdemeanors are the most serious, but all of them are criminal charges that will show up on a person’s record.
Examples of Pennsylvania misdemeanor charges include:
- Simple assault
- Property crimes
- Disorderly conduct
- DUI charges
- And more
At each level of misdemeanor, there are maximum penalties associated with the charge, but that does not mean that they are mandatory. Each charge comes with possible jail times and possible fines. A court can impose both, just one, or a variation of time and fines.
- First-degree misdemeanor : up to five years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
- Second-degree misdemeanor : up to two years of incarceration and a $5,000 fine.
- Third-degree misdemeanor : up to one year of incarceration and a $2,500 fine.
Are there any misdemeanor crimes with mandatory sentences?
Yes, certain misdemeanors have mandatory sentences. If a person is driving a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device after being court ordered to have one installed, they will face mandatory sentencing of 90 days in jail if convicted.
Things To Consider
Aside from the penalties listed above to various misdemeanor charges, you also need to consider other effects that being convicted of a crime will have.
- If your crime involves DUI, you could lose your license. This would impact your ability to earn an income to support yourself and your family. A DUI conviction could also cost you your current job.
- If you are facing drug charges, you could lose your ability to get loans or scholarships for school.
- Any misdemeanor conviction is going to show up on a background check. This will hamper your ability to gain employment.
- Your reputation will be damaged due to a conviction.