Washington, Pennsylvania, classifies crimes into different offense categories, just like the rest of the state. “Felony” is the most severe category, while “Misdemeanors” cover less serious offenses. All categories are further divided into degrees, each with its own set of penalties.
However, there are some misdemeanors that don’t fit into any degree and are labeled as “non-classified misdemeanors.” These offenses have unique characteristics that set them apart from others, such as novelty, uniqueness, or relatively low severity.
If you are facing charges related to a non-classified misdemeanor, it’s crucial to seek guidance from a reputable Washington PA Criminal Lawyer. Our experienced attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of both felony and misdemeanor charges and can help you understand your legal situation.
What Is a Non-Classified Misdemeanor?
But what exactly is a non-classified misdemeanor? These offenses, falling within the broader category of misdemeanors, don’t have assigned degrees because they don’t fit into any specific category. They might be relatively new, not yet addressed by legislation, unique in nature, or considered less serious.
Sentencing for non-classified misdemeanors is determined separately from classified misdemeanors to ensure fair judgment for each case. It’s important to note that penalties for non-classified misdemeanors vary based on Pennsylvania law.
Things to Know About Non-Classified Misdemeanors
Let’s dive deeper into non-classified misdemeanors. Some examples of crimes falling under this category are:
- Selling, delivering, or manufacturing unadulterated drugs
- Unlawful pharmacy operations
Understanding the structure and nuances of non-classified misdemeanors can help you navigate your legal situation more effectively. For reliable guidance and protection of your rights, consult a knowledgeable Washington PA DUI attorney who can provide appropriate legal counsel.
How Are Sentences Graded?
When it comes to assessing the repercussions of a misdemeanor in Washington, there are several crucial considerations. The Offense Gravity Score (OGS), an integral component of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines, plays a key role in this evaluation. Whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor, each crime is assigned an OGS that represents its severity.
Furthermore, the judge takes into account your prior criminal record, weighing it through a Prior Records Score (PRS). Both the initial offense’s OGS and your PRS are carefully considered during the sentencing process. If your OGS is lower and your record is relatively clean, your sentence is likely to be more lenient.
However, it’s essential to note that Washington trial judges have significant discretion when dealing with unclassified misdemeanors. This latitude often leads them to explore alternate options, such as probation or community service, thereby providing flexibility within the sentencing framework.
Mandatory Minimum Punishments
Similar to other regions in Pennsylvania, Washington also has mandatory minimum sentences in place. These sentences bind judges to impose a specific duration of imprisonment for certain crimes. Even if it’s your first offense or there are mitigating circumstances, the judge is unable to deviate from these minimums. Offenses like rape, offenses against the elderly, and selling drugs to minors are among those subject to these mandatory minimums.
By gaining a comprehensive understanding of this intricate process, individuals navigating the Washington legal system can approach their cases with clarity and insight.
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