Misdemeanors are considered as lesser crimes. However, make no mistake, misdemeanors carry serious penalties, and sometimes a misdemeanor charge can be moved up to a felony offense depending on the severity of the crime and any prior convictions. In Pennsylvania, misdemeanors are classified under three types of categories. The three categories are first, second, and third-degree. The degrees signify the severity of an offense.
For instance, an offense that is classified under a first-degree misdemeanor signifies that it is the most serious type out of the three categories. It also carries harsher penalties. A third-degree offense is the least serious out of the three and has lesser penalties. Though all degrees of misdemeanors have maximum penalties attached to them, it does not mean that the court will impose the maximum penalty. This is the reason why it is vital to enlist the legal assistance of a Newtown Square, PA criminal defense attorney. Your criminal defense attorney in Newton Square, PA can argue against incurring any maximum penalties. By reviewing your case and determining the best route, your Newtown Square, PA criminal defense attorney can safeguard you against receiving the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor offense that can include jail time, fines, or even both.
The penalties for the different misdemeanor degree categories are as follow:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Carries up to five years of jail time and no more than $10,000 in fines.
- Second-degree misdemeanor: Carries up to two years of jail time and no more than $5,000 in fines.
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Carries up to one year of jail time and no more than $2,000 in fines.
Types of Misdemeanor Crimes by Degree
The crimes associated with misdemeanors vary between the type of offense and severity. The following are examples of misdemeanors that are usually classified under a certain degree in Pennsylvania.
- Simple assault of a child
- Multiple DUIs
- Possession of a controlled substance, based on prior offenses
- Theft of property that’s worth more than $200, but less than $2000
- Simple assault of an adult
- Impersonating a public servant, such as a police officer
- Theft of property that’s worth more than $200, but less than $50
- Possession of marijuana
- Disorderly conduct
- Theft of property that is worth less than $50