Charged With a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Being accused of any crime in Pennsylvania can be unnerving and a conviction could lead to serious ramifications. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it is imperative that you hold off from making any statements to or agreements with the police until you have had a chance to consult with your Erie criminal defense attorney.
While most people are already familiar with the concept that felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors, the definitions of these can differ from one state to another. Crimes in Pennsylvania are divided into four categories: felonies, misdemeanor, summary offenses and homicide. Maximum penalties apply based on the type of crime that you have been charged with.
- First degree felonies carry up to 20 years and $25,000 in fines.
- Second degree felonies can carry a penalty of up to 10 years and $25,000 in fines.
- Third degree felonies can lead to 7 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.
- First degree misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of 5 years and $10,000 in fines.
- Second degree misdemeanors can carry up to 2 years and a $5,000 fine.
- Third degree misdemeanors can be linked to one year and $2,500 in fines.
A summary offense will typically carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in county jail as well as a $300 fine. Regardless of the type of crime that you have been charged with, it is always a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable Erie criminal defense attorney immediately.
Get Your Free Consultation From A Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Small missteps in the early parts of your case can lead to big problems down the line. An experienced defense attorney can help explain your rights and help you figure out what to expect next. Do not hesitate to consult with a knowledgeable Erie criminal defense attorney as soon as you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Pennsylvania.
Talk to An Attorney Before Giving Any Statements
The police might try to tell you that you have a better chance of avoiding serious penalties if you speak with them and cooperate with their questions, but you could actually end up hurting your case – remember that anything you say can (and probably will) be used against you. That’s why it’s recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, as your free case evaluation is completely confidential.