Misdemeanors Attorneys in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
Any criminal charge can bring your life to a standstill. Though not as severe as felony charges, misdemeanors are still serious legal matters that can leave a negative impact on your record and affect your future in different ways.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor offense, you need the representation of an experienced misdemeanor defense attorney. At Adams Kearney Law, we focus on helping each of our clients seek the best available outcome for their cases. If you are located in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding communities throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and the greater Philadelphia metro area, contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn about your legal options.
Misdemeanor Crimes in Pennsylvania
Many people already know that misdemeanor crimes are considered less serious than felonies, but what some people fail to realize is that Pennsylvania law still serves harsh penalties for misdemeanor offenses. If you have been charged with a crime, knowing what Pennsylvania law considers a misdemeanor crime and how it could impact your future is vital.
As with other states, Pennsylvania categorizes misdemeanor crimes as less serious than felonies, but unlike other states, Pennsylvania punishes some misdemeanor offenses with jail sentences that can last for longer than one year. Some examples of misdemeanor crimes under Pennsylvania law include:
Cyberharassment of a minor
Theft of items valued at less than $2,000
The list above is not exhaustive, but the crimes listed are common examples of offenses classified as misdemeanors in Pennsylvania. It is important to note that, in some cases, a misdemeanor offense can be upgraded to a felony if there have been prior criminal convictions on your record.
Classes of Misdemeanors in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania divides misdemeanor charges into the following categories:
These classifications are made based on the severity of the crime, and the maximum jail sentences and fines that can be imposed for the crimes are classified accordingly, with the harshest misdemeanor penalties being given for first-degree offenses.
Be sure to note that even if the charge you’re facing is for a third-degree misdemeanor crime, this does not mean you will “get off easy” when it comes to penalties. For example, the maximum jail sentence for a third-degree misdemeanor conviction is one year, with a maximum fine of $2,500. As you can see, these are not simple slaps on the wrist. Even if the crime you are charged with seems relatively minor when compared to other offenses, you still need an attorney to help you avoid receiving the maximum penalties.
Though specific charges can result in a wide range of potential penalties, here is a general breakdown of the classifications of penalties for each degree of misdemeanor crime in Pennsylvania:
First-Degree Misdemeanor: A maximum of five years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-Degree Misdemeanor: A maximum of two years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Third-Degree Misdemeanor: A maximum of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
In Pennsylvania, judges have considerable flexibility when it comes to misdemeanor sentencing between the minimum and maximum allowable penalties under the law. The judge can consider various factors in making a sentencing decision, including the details of the crime and any previous criminal convictions you may have on your record.
Depending on the specifics of your charge, there may be alternative sentencing options, such as probation, partial confinement (where the judge may allow you to leave jail at certain times to go to work or school), or court-ordered community service. It is even possible in some cases that a judge may simply have you convicted of the misdemeanor crime and impose no additional penalty other than having the conviction on your record. Having an experienced attorney representing you in your case will be beneficial if the potential for alternative sentencing is available.
Why You Need an Attorney
Facing any criminal charge can feel like an overwhelming task. Having an experienced criminal defense law firm on your side can give you peace of mind and confidence that your rights will be protected and your best interests will always be a priority. Your attorney will work with you to learn the details of your case, explain the different options that may be available to you, and lead you through the legal process from start to finish.
Misdemeanors Attorneys Serving Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
You don't have to feel like you're facing your misdemeanor charge on your own. There is professional and reliable legal representation available. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, contact us at Adams Kearney Law today to schedule a consultation to start preparing your legal strategy. We proudly serve clients in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, as well as the greater Philadelphia area and throughout Chester County and Delaware County.