Scranton Felony Criminal Defense Lawyer
In Pennsylvania, criminal offenses are separated into three categories. Summary offenses are the most minor of crimes, while misdemeanors are deemed to be more serious. The most severe types of crimes are considered felonies. Felony offenses carry the most serious penalties for those convicted of them. Like misdemeanors, they are also graded depending on the nature and severity of the crime.
It is important for anyone charged with any crime to have legal representation. In the case of felony offenses however, it is even more critical. A Scranton felony defense attorney can help those accused have their charges dropped or reduced, and will ensure the defendant’s rights are upheld throughout the entire process, from the time of arrest to the time the trial is over.
Types of Felony Offenses
Pennsylvania classifies many different types of crimes as felonies. Some of the most common include:
- Armed robbery
- Criminal mischief
- Hate crimes
- Juvenile cases
- Terrorism crimes
Although felonies are considered to be the worst crimes a person can commit, the term “felony” is still very broad. Within this classification there are a few different grades, known as degrees. The lower the degree of a crime, the more serious it is. For example, a first-degree felony is considered a more serious crime than a third-degree felony. As such, the consequences for a third-degree felony are less severe than a felony in the first degree.
The degree of the crime will have a great impact on an individual’s case if they are charged with a felony. In cases in which an attorney cannot have all charges dropped, they can still sometimes work with the prosecution to have the charges reduced. This will mean that an individual may face lower fines, or less time in jail.
Misdemeanors Sometimes Upgraded to a Felony
In Pennsylvania, committing a crime is taken very seriously. There are times when a misdemeanor, a less serious crime, will be upgraded to a felony. For example, if an individual assaulted another person using only their hands, that would be considered a misdemeanor. However, if the individual assaulted someone with a deadly weapon, such as a firearm, that would be considered aggravated assault. Aggravated assault is considered a first or second-degree felony.
When individuals are convicted of felonies, the consequences are much greater. The individual will face higher fines imposed by the court, and facing several years in jail is much more likely when a person has been convicted of a felony.
Sentencing for Felony Offenses
In some cases, crimes will have specific penalties included within the statute for that crime. Pennsylvania’s rape statute, for example, includes a penalty of a maximum ten years in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000. In other cases however, sentencing will be left to the discretion of the court. When determining an individual’s sentence after conviction, the court will take a number of factors into consideration. These include:
- The grade, or degree, of the felony committed
- The defendant’s criminal record and if they have previous offenses
- Whether or not aggravating or mitigating factors were part of the crime, which can reduce an individual’s sentence
Contact a Scranton Felony Criminal Defense Attorney That Can Help
Those charged with a felony in Pennsylvania face some of the most serious consequences. It is vital that individuals in this situation contact a felony criminal defense lawyer in Scranton that can help.
If you have been charged with a felony offense, call Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Esquire today at 570-209-9865. We will ensure that your rights are upheld in court, and will work tirelessly to have your charges dropped or reduced. Do not try to fight these charges on your own. Contact us today for your free consultation so we can review your case, and help you regain your freedom, as soon as possible.