A question posed by many clients facing criminal charges is, “What am I looking at?” While at first blush this may seem like a simple question, the answer depends on a multitude of factors such as the seriousness of the offense, the defendant’s record, whether there are any aggravating or mitigating circumstances and whether there are any statutory minimums or enhancements prescribed for a particular crime.
While it is impossible to make generalities concerning what an individual is facing without taking a thorough history, what can be said is that the following are the maximum legal sentences and fines for particular classes of criminal offenses in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
- First-degree murder: death or life imprisonment; $50,000 fine
- First-degree murder of unborn child: life imprisonment; $50,000 fine
- Second-degree murder: life imprisonment; $50,000 fine
- Second-degree murder of unborn child: life imprisonment; $50,000 fine
- Third-degree murder: 40 years; $50,000 fine
- Third-degree murder of unborn child: 20 years; $50,000 fine
- Felony of the first degree: 20 years; $25,000 fine
- Felony of the second degree: 10 years; $25,000 fine
- Felony of the third degree: seven years; $15,000 fine
- Misdemeanor of the first degree: five years; $10,000 fine
- Misdemeanor of the second degree: two years; $5,000 fine
- Misdemeanor of the third degree: one year; $2,500 fine
- Summary offense: 90 days; $300 fine
What Can Be Done?
Whether you have just been criminally charged; think you may be charged sometime in the future; are asked by the police to be interviewed; are scheduled for arraignment or a pretrial conference; or need an appeal or to file a motion for post-conviction relief, Uniontown criminal defense lawyers Benjamin F. Goodwin and Amanda M. Como would be honored to meet with you to discuss your criminal case.
It is crucial to engage in thorough discovery, conduct an investigation, locate and interview witnesses, file any appropriate pretrial motions and thoroughly prepare your criminal case for trial. The government has attorneys and investigators working around the clock to convict you.