First-Degree Felony

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, First Degree Felonies (F1) are the most serious crimes that you can commit.

Across the United States, crimes are separated into two major categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Of these two, felonies are considered to be the most serious crimes. Felonies are split even further, into three degrees. Among these three degrees, first degree felonies are the most serious ones.

If you are found guilty of committing a first-degree felony, you could be sent to prison for up to twenty years. Not only will you lose your freedom while you are incarcerated, you will also face other problems, like who is going to take care of your kids and support your family.

Even after your release, your crime will haunt you. Many employers refuse to hire convicted felons, which means you may not be able to find a decent job. You will not be allowed to own a gun or serve our country in the military.

What Do You Mean, “First-Degree Felony”?

Of all felonies, first- degree ones have the harshest consequences:

  • Prison sentence of up to twenty years
  • Fines of up to $25,000.
  • Offenses that fall under the category of first-degree felony:
  • Rape
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Aggravated assault on a prison employee, cop, or officer of the court
Grading a Sentence

Many factors go into determining the punishment for a first-degree felony.

The Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines require that every crime be allotted an Offense Gravity Score, better known as OGS. This OGS is designated as a number. The more severe the crime, the bigger the OGS number will be.

Your sentencing judge will look at your prior criminal record and the OGS score for your crime when sentencing you. If your OGS score is low and you have few previous convictions, your guideline sentence will be shorter. Trial judges in Pennsylvania have discretionary power and are allowed to pass sentences that differ from the guidelines if mitigating or aggravating factors are involved.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, some offenses require mandatory minimum punishments. This means the judge will have to sentence you to prison for a specified number of years. In these cases, the judge is not allowed to give you a lighter sentence, despite mitigating or aggravating factors.

How can a Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Help You?

If you hire one of our Pittsburgh criminal lawyers, he will not only explain in detail the charges against you, he will look for mitigating factors that will work in your favor, and prepare a compelling defense. He will help you decide your best course of action.

If you are charged with a felony, immediately contact one of the Pittsburgh criminal lawyers from Logue Law, by calling us at (412) 389-0805. Do not wait; the sooner you hire a lawyer, the better your outcome will be.

To Learn More About Pennsylvania Offense Classes and Gravity Scores

Under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code, offense classes and gravity scores are defined in Title 204, Chapter 303.