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In Pennsylvania, there are two different types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. While a misdemeanor is less severe than a felony, it does not come without consequences. In fact, the consequences of a misdemeanor may be more severe than you might think. If you are being accused of committing a misdemeanor, it is important you learn about how to take care of it today.

What qualifies as a misdemeanor?

While there are many different crimes that could technically qualify as a misdemeanor, some of the most common misdemeanors are as follows:

  • Assault
  • Harassment
  • Criminal mischief
  • Terrorist threats
  • False imprisonment  
  • Stalking
  • Criminal trespassing
  • Public intoxication
  • Petty theft

If you have been charged with any of these things, you may be facing several different penalties, all varying in severity. If you find yourself facing any of these charges, we recommend you discuss them with an attorney immediately.

What are the different misdemeanor penalties?

Misdemeanors are generally less severe than a citation or warning, and more severe than a long jail sentence. To determine the severity of your potential punishment, you must first understand the different classes of misdemeanors. The different types of misdemeanors can be divvied up into three different groups: First-degree misdemeanor, of which can constitute up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000; second-degree misdemeanor, of which you may face two years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines; and third-degree misdemeanor, which may constitute up to a year in prison and a fine of $2,500. These are all very serious offenses, and therefore may have a very serious impact on your future.

What other things may a criminal court judge consider when deliberating your case?

For one, he will obviously consider the misdemeanor at hand. The severity of what you are being accused naturally is the biggest deciding factor. However, the judge may also consider if you have any prior criminal convictions under your belt, as judges generally are harsher on repeat offenders. The judge will take into consideration whether or not you are responsible for any injuries or damages to people or property, and he will also consider if you violated the status of any prior probation or parole sentence as the offending person in this case.

Contact our firm

If you or someone you know was charged with a misdemeanor of any kind, contact the Law Offices of Ilkhanoff & Silverstein today. These can have potentially far-reaching effects, and may impact your ability to get a job in the future. Here at Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, we have more than 30 years of combined legal experience that we can use to help shield you from potential criminal penalties. Call us today at (717) 744-0531.