Dauphin County, PA Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges should always be taken seriously, as they might elevate depending on the case. If you or someone you know were recently arrested in Dauphin County, it is important to get representation you can rely on.
If you are arrested and subsequently charged with criminal offense, it is important that you have a good understanding of your situation. For example, you could be charged with a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony. If you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you will have a specific degree attached to the charge, depending the offense. Different charges com with different consequences if a defendant is convicted. Instead of asking law enforcement officials questions about the charges you are facing in Dauphin County, allow our attorneys to provide the clarification you need.
To have our Dauphin County criminal defense lawyers assess your case for free, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates now at (215) 372-8667.
Understanding the Charges Against You in Dauphin County
All too often, people are charged with crimes but are not given an explanation of what the crime means and the possible penalties they might face. This could lead to individuals pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit out of fear, possibly allowing them to get a lesser sentence. Our Dauphin County criminal defense lawyers will assess the charges against you and explain the level of crime you are charged with and what that might mean for your case.
The lowest offense you can be charged with in Dauphin County is known as a summary offense. These are non-traffic offenses, meaning you will not be charged with a summary offense if you get a speeding ticket. Common offenses that fall under this umbrella include disorderly conduct and loitering. Summary offenses are typically handled with a fine, though they could be punishable with up to 90 days in jail. Summary offenses are expungable in Dauphin County, provided the offender is not arrested for another offense within the following five years.
Misdemeanors are applied based on the degree of the alleged crime. Though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they can still greatly impact your life if you are convicted of one. Misdemeanors in the third degree include criminal trespassing and possession of marijuana. These misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to $5,000 in fines, depending on the charge. Misdemeanors in the second degree are a bit more serious. They include charges of reckless endangerment and indecent exposure, among others of a similar severity. A conviction for a misdemeanor in the second degree could result in up to two years in jail and a fine of $5,000 in Dauphin County. Misdemeanors in the first degree are punishable by up to five years in prison. Crimes that are misdemeanors in the first degree include involuntary manslaughter and stalking. In many cases, a misdemeanor conviction can be expunged after ten years, provided an individual seeking expungement has not had any other criminal convictions or arrests since their initial conviction.
Felonies are the most serious criminal offenses in Dauphin County and elsewhere. Like misdemeanors, felonies are split into categories based on their severity. Felonies in the third degree are the least serious charges of this variation. These include charges of bribery, concealment of a child, or failure to register as a sex offender, among many others. A conviction for a felony in the third degree could result in a prison sentence of up to seven years and a fine of up to $15,000.
Next are felonies in the second degree. Sexual assault and false imprisonment are examples of charges that typically fall under the umbrella of felonies in the second degree. Convictions for these types of crimes could result in up to ten years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.
Felonies in the first degree are the most serious crimes a person can be charged with in Dauphin County. Felonies in the first degree include charges of murder, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. If you are convicted of a felony in the first degree, you could face decades in prison in Dauphin County. In addition to long prison sentences, those convicted of first-degree felonies may also be responsible for paying a $25,000 fine. These crimes are often ineligible for expungement.
What to Do When You Are Informed of the Charges Against You in Dauphin County
There are certain guidelines people should follow after being arrested in Dauphin County. Even if you are arrested on a lesser charge, the charges against you might be elevated if you speak to police officers without our attorneys present.
Suppose you are initially arrested for a misdemeanor in Dauphin County. If you think there is no harm in speaking with law enforcement officials because of the level of the charge, you are mistaken. Remember, police officers can use the information you provide them against you. Even if they claim that you will be given a lesser charge if you cooperate, you should not believe them. Law enforcement could use what you say as an excuse to increase the charges against you. This could leave you facing a more serious charge that comes with more serious consequences.
Instead, allow our attorneys to handle discussions with law enforcement. If there is a reason to negotiate a lesser charge, we might explore that, depending on your case. However, if you are being accused of a crime you did not commit, and law enforcement is attempting to get you to accept a deal by using unethical intimidation tactics, our attorneys will put a stop to such happenings immediately and begin working on a defense that will clear your name of wrongdoing in Dauphin County.
Call Our Dauphin County Lawyers About Your Criminal Case
Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates can help you with your case when you call our criminal defense lawyers today at (215) 372-8667.