In Pittsburgh, as in all of Pennsylvania, a conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor (M1) could get you a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
Throughout the United States, crimes are separated into two categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious crimes, with misdemeanors being less serious. As with felonies, misdemeanors are further split into three degrees (first, second, and third,) with some crimes being considered worse than others. For example, first-degree misdemeanors result in more serious punishments than third-degree ones. Some misdemeanors are not sub-classified, which means they do not fall under these described categories and have their own sentencing guidelines. A Pittsburgh misdemeanor defense lawyer can explain the type of penalties that you may be facing.What is a “First-Degree Misdemeanor”?
Possible penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:
- A prison sentence of up to 5 years
- Fines of up to $10,000.
- Some of the offenses that are considered to be first-degree misdemeanors are:
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Selling or Repairing an offensive weapon
Many factors go into determining the punishment for a first-degree misdemeanor.
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 Pittsburgh and elsewhere in Pennsylvania have discretionary power when handing down sentences. They are allowed to sentence you to things like probation or community service in lieu of prison.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 Criminal Lawyer in Pittsburgh Help You?
If you call one of our Criminal Lawyers, he or she will explain in detail what the charges against you are. He or she will prepare a compelling defense to help you reduce your sentence, and will help you decide on the proper course of action for your case.
It is important that you call a lawyer immediately to avoid the harshest punishments. If you wait, it might be too late for the attorney to be of use to you, resulting in a more severe punishment.
To hire a reputable criminal lawyer in Pittsburgh, immediately contact Logue Law. Our well-known Criminal Lawyer, Mr. Sean Logue, is always ready to help you, no matter how complicated your case is. He and his associates have the experience and skills you need to avoid the most severe punishments. Contact us now at (412) 389-0805.Interested in Learning More About Pennsylvania Offense Classes and Gravity Scores?
Under Pennsylvania Criminal Code, offense classes and gravity scores are defined under Title 204, Chapter 303.