Criminal activities and the charges related to each one of them differ from one another. The offenses are categorized into two major sections– felonies and misdemeanors—in all states across the US. While felonies are known as the more serious ones, misdemeanors are comparatively lower in terms of degree of crime.
Misdemeanors are further divided into a few degrees where a first degree is more serious than a third degree.
But that does not mean that you wouldn’t get any punishment if you are convicted of a misdemeanor of the third degree, or as it is more popularly known, an M3. You might have to face imprisonment of up to one year. So, you should always hire a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney for professional help. Only an experienced lawyer who has dealt with these kinds of cases in the past can help you out with the situation by preparing a solid defense that would act in your favor in a court of law.Details of a Misdemeanor of Third Degree or M3 (Crimes and Punishments)
Acts that can be classified under this section of crime are as follows:
- Obstructing emergency vehicles
- Disorderly conduct
- Selling alcohol to young people/minors
- Defiant trespassing
- Receiving stolen property that has a value of less than $50
- Giving false ID to police or other law enforcement officials
Punishments/ penalties for an M3:
- You might end up in jail for up to one year.
- You might have to pay a fine of up to $ 2,500.
The actual penalties for these kinds of crimes are determined after taking many things into consideration.OGS or Offense Gravity Score
Every offense under the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines is assigned an Offense Gravity Score (OGS). An OGS is represented by a numerical value, and the number goes up depending on the seriousness of the crime.Judgment
The judge will take a lot of things into consideration before actually declaring your penalties. Some of the things that he will consider are as follows:
- Your OGS score – If your score is low, then expect your guideline sentence to be reduced.
- Prior criminal records – The judge will also check your prior criminal records. You are given a score, called a Prior Record Score or PRS, based on the number of previous convictions you have. If you have few to no prior arrests or convictions, your guideline sentence will be reduced.
The judge will take both scores into account when deciding how to sentence you.
There is a wide range of variation when it comes to sentencing or punishing an accused. There can be other alternatives, like community service, probation, etc.Mandatory Minimum Sentences
In Pennsylvania, there are a few crimes that carry mandatory minimum sentences. This means that your judge might be forced to sentence you to a certain number of years in prison, regardless of your prior record, or lack thereof.Professional Help
You should always hire a Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer when you are charged with such a crime. He will not only explain everything to you in detail, but will also guide you throughout the entire procedure, and make sure that your rights are protected. He will prepare a defense case that will work in your favor, and try to discredit other evidence, thereby reducing your penalties as well.
If you are charged with a crime, call the Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyers at Logue Law Group today at 1-844-PITT-DUI or (412) 389-0805. You can also contact us online. Logue Law Group serves Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the counties surrounding Pittsburgh, and Ohio and West Virginia.
Don’t wait to call! The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more difficult it becomes for him or her to get a good outcome for you and your case. Call today!Want to Learn More About Gravity Scores and Offense Classes?
The definitions of gravity scores and offense classes can be found in the Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 204, Chapter 303.