Will I go to jail? When someone has been charged with a criminal offense, this is one of the most common questions he or she asks. At my Glenside, Pennsylvania, law firm, I — Michael F. Dunn, Attorney at Law — use years of experience to help my clients predict the probable outcome of the charges they face. I then work diligently to minimize potential consequences, seeking to get charges dismissed, negotiating pleas to lesser charges or by proving my clients’ innocence at trial.
Minimizing The Potential Effects Of All Criminal Charges
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Montgomery County, you may be facing a wide range of potential sentences and fines, depending on the type of offense charged:
- Summary offenses: Criminal proceedings in summary cases usually begin when a citation is issued to the defendant, as in a traffic offense. A summary offense carries with it a maximum sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $300.
- Misdemeanors: A misdemeanor is a crime less serious than a felony but more serious than a summary offense, and a first-time DUI is a good example. In Southeastern Pennsylvania, misdemeanors are divided into three categories, or “degrees.” A person may commit a misdemeanor in the first degree, a misdemeanor in the second degree or a misdemeanor in the third degree. Penalties for each vary with the nature and severity of the crime charged.
- Felonies: A felony is a serious crime that carries with it the harshest penalties. Under Southeastern Pennsylvania law, a felony in the first degree can carry with it a maximum sentence of 20 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. A felony in the second degree can carry with it a maximum sentence of 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. A felony in the third degree can carry with it a maximum sentence of seven years and a maximum fine of $15,000.
Certain crimes contain sentencing enhancements. For example, the use of a firearm in the commission of another crime will make the punishment for that crime more severe. Similarly, the sale of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school may carry harsher consequences than the sale of drugs in another location.
I Understand The Requirements Of A Strong Criminal Defense
If you have been charged with a felony in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the consequences you are facing could be very serious. Your freedom and your future depend on a strong felony defense. The best way to get that defense is work with an experienced criminal defense attorney — someone who uses years of experience, in-depth knowledge and professional skill to protect your rights.
If you have been accused of a summary offense, a misdemeanor or a felony, seek a strong defense by acting quickly. Contact me — criminal defense lawyer Michael F. Dunn — by calling 215-572-0955 or by completing my online contact form. Initial consultations are free and confidential.