Facing a criminal charge is one of the hardest things you may ever have to face in your life. Your entire life will be turned upside down and you may not know where to turn. The first thing to do when facing a criminal charge is to contact a criminal defense attorney. According to the FBI, Westmoreland county had 24 violent crimes for their latest reporting year. This may not sound like a lot but when you consider the criteria for a violent crime and the potential penalties, this number is far too high.
What Do Crimes Fall Under Criminal Defense?
Violent crimes are not the only crimes that can have you facing criminal charges. Some of the most common criminal defense cases we see are:
- Theft charges
- Property crimes
- Sex crimes
- White-collar crimes
- Weapons charges
- Robbery charges
- Child pornography
- Retail theft
- Drug crimes
- DUI charges
- Summary Offenses
- Terroristic threats
While some of these may seem minor, they can carry very serious and long-lasting consequences. If you are facing a criminal charge, do not wait to call SMT Legal to discuss your legal options and start building a case.
Penalties Related to a Criminal Charge
Criminal charges can be categorized under misdemeanors, summary offenses, or felonies. Within those categories, the penalties will vary. For summary offenses, it is important to keep in mind that these charges can be upgraded to misdemeanor or felony. The penalties for these are as follows:
- Summary offense: Fines up to $300 and a minimum of 90 days in jail
- Third-degree misdemeanor: fines up to $2,500 and six months to one year in prison
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $5,000 and one to two years in prison
- First-degree misdemeanor: Fines up to $10,000 and 2.5 to five years in prison
When it comes to felony offenses the consequences are far worse. They include:
- Third-degree felony: fines up to $15,000 and 3.5 to seven years in prison
- Second-degree felony: fines up to $25,000 and five to 10 years in prison
- First-degree felony: fines up to $25,000 and 10 to 20 years in prison
These penalties will go away after the fines have been paid and time has been served. The penalties that you will face in your day-to-day life will haunt you for years to come. You may lose your driver’s license, your employment, and your home. Finding new employment or enrolling in school can be near impossible with a criminal charge on your record.
How an Attorney Can Help You
At SMT Legal we will work to build a strong defense so your charges are reduced or dismissed completely. Do not let a criminal record hinder the rest of your life. Having a Westmoreland, PA criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference in keeping your freedom. Call SMT Legal at 888-976-2529 to discuss your changes and start building a strong case today.