In Pittsburgh, as in all of Pennsylvania, the most serious felonies do not have assigned degrees. These crimes are specific and include first-degree murder and other murder or manslaughter charges. You should consult a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney promptly if you are facing this type of charge.
Non-classified felonies are separated from first, second, and third-degree felonies.What is a Non-Classified Felony?
Some of the felonies that are not classified include:
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Manslaughter of the first degree of a law enforcement officer
Each non-classified felony carries its own sentence. For example, a person who is convicted of first-degree murder faces either death or life in prison. For second-degree murder, the punishment is life in prison.Defenses for Unclassified Felonies
There are several defenses and methods of defending a person charged with an unclassified felony. Some are listed here with a brief explanation for each:
- Questioning the credibility of witnesses: Much of the time, the prosecution’s entire case rests on the testimony of one or two witnesses. If the accused’s attorney can give the jury reason to doubt that testimony, a conviction can be avoided.
- Questioning the investigative and interrogation tactics of the police: Police interrogate people they have charged with crimes with the intent of proving their guilt. Often, the tactics they use cause emotional and/or physical distress, and the accused will admit to whatever they want just to get them to stop. An attorney will prove that his client gave in to the inhumane pressure.
- Affirmative defenses: In certain cases, defenses such as self-defense and alibi defense are best, since the prosecutor has to prove guilt.
All crimes are divided into two categories: felonies, and misdemeanors. Both categories consist of serious crimes in the eyes of the Pennsylvania law. But, of the two, felonies are considered to be more serious, in part because the crimes that fall under this category tend to be associated with harsher punishments and higher fines.
Some of the crimes that are considered felonies include rape, kidnapping, and other severe crimes. However, not all felonies result in the same punishments, because this class of offense is further divided into three degrees, each of which has its own set of fines, jail terms, and other penalties. Still more felonies are unclassified.
Brief descriptions of felony degrees:
- First-Degree Felony - Crimes that fall under this category include rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault on a prison employee or police/court officer, and voluntary manslaughter. Penalties may include 12 years of imprisonment or a fine of $25,000.
- Second-Degree Felony - Crimes that fall under this category include crimes like burglary, sexual assault, and false imprisonment of a juvenile. The penalties may include 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of $25,000.
- Third-Degree Felony - Crimes falling under this category include promoting child prostitution, bribery and possessing child pornography. Penalties may include 7 years of imprisonment or a fine of $15,000.
If you or a loved one has been charged with the commission of a non-classified felony, immediately contact one of our Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at our Pittsburgh firm We can provide you with all the detailed information you need, and will be able to help you prepare an excellent defense. Our lawyers will work with you to determine the most advantageous strategies for your case. Don’t wait to call; the longer you or your loved one go without representation, the harder it will be to mitigate your sentence to a lighter one.
For immediate help, contact Logue Law Group. Our reputable Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer, Mr. Sean Logue, will help you solve issues such as these. He and his team of attorneys have the skill set and experience you need to assist you in lessening the criminal penalties you face. Give us a call at (412) 612-2210, (412) 612-2210, or (412) 612-2210 now. Or, we can be contacted online here.
Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas, as well as Ohio and West Virginia.To Learn More About Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Offense Classes and Gravity Scores
Offense classes and gravity scores are properly defined under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 204, Chapter 303.