First Degree Felony
Firstly, let’s understand the severity of First Degree Felonies in Washington, Pennsylvania (also known as F1) and why immediate assistance from an experienced and devoted Washington PA DUI Attorney is crucial if you have been arrested and charged with this offense.
In the United States, crimes are broadly classified into two major categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Among felonies, there are three degrees, with First Degree Felonies carrying the utmost gravity. On the other end of the spectrum, Third Degree Felonies are considered the least severe.
If found guilty of a First Degree Felony, the consequences can be severe, including a potential prison sentence of up to twenty years. This loss of freedom not only affects you but also raises concerns about the well-being and support of your family and children. Therefore, consulting a skilled Washington PA DUI attorney is vital when facing such charges.
The aftermath of a First Degree Felony conviction continues even after your release from prison. Reintegrating into society becomes challenging as convicted felons often face obstacles in securing decent employment due to employers being skeptical of individuals with a criminal record. Moreover, restrictions on firearm ownership and military service come into play.
What Do You Mean, “First Degree Felony”?
Let’s delve into the harshest penalties associated with this offense:
- Imprisonment for up to twenty years
- Fines of up to $25,000.
To give you a better understanding, here are some examples of offenses falling under the First Degree Felony category:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Aggravated assault on a prison employee, police officer, or court officer.
Grading a Sentence
When it comes to determining the punishment for a first-degree felony, there are several key factors to consider. In Pennsylvania, the sentencing guidelines establish an Offense Gravity Score (OGS) for every crime. This numerical rating reflects the severity of the offense, with higher scores indicating more significant crimes.
Another crucial element in the sentencing process is your prior criminal record, which is assigned a score known as the Prior Record Score (PRS). The higher your PRS, the more prior convictions you have on your record.
When a sentencing judge evaluates your case, they take into account both your prior criminal record and the OGS score. If you have a low OGS score and few previous convictions, your guideline sentence will likely be shorter. However, it is important to note that Pennsylvania trial judges have discretionary power and can deviate from the guidelines if there are mitigating or aggravating factors present.
Mandatory Minimum Sentences
In some cases, certain offenses carry mandatory minimum punishments. This means that judges are required to impose a specified number of years in prison, regardless of any mitigating circumstances or aggravating factors. Consequently, even if it is your first criminal offense with no prior convictions, the judge must impose the minimum sentence prescribed by law.
How Can a Criminal Lawyer in Washington Help You?
The Logue Law Group comprises a team of highly skilled Washington PA criminal lawyers who can provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the charges against you. Their expertise lies in diligently searching for any mitigating factors that can work in your favor and crafting a compelling defense strategy. Facing these charges alone is not recommended, as the guidance and support of a qualified attorney can make a significant difference.
If you are currently facing a felony charge, we strongly urge you to contact one of our experienced Washington PA criminal lawyers at the Logue Law Group in Washington. You can reach us at 844.PITT.DUI or connect with us online. Remember, time is of the essence, and hiring a Washington PA DUI lawyer promptly will greatly benefit your case.
To Learn More About Pennsylvania Offense Classes and Gravity Scores
For more detailed information on Pennsylvania offense classes and gravity scores, you can refer to Title 204, Chapter 303 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code.
Free ConsultationYou will never find us short of knowledge & commitment
while handling your case.