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Pottstown Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a criminal offense may be the most stressful predicament you will ever experience. In situations like this, when there is so much at stake, you need the help of a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and level the playing field for you. Being convicted of a criminal offense can carry harsh penalties that extend outside of the criminal justice system, affecting your ability to find work, occupy a residency, own a weapon, and access important government benefits and resources. Cohen & Patel is home to skilled attorneys who are dedicated to getting you the best results possible in court. Contact a Montgomery County criminal defense lawyer from our legal team today so we can get started working on your case.

Criminal Defense Lawyer | Representing Clients in Montgomery, Berks & Chester County

Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, Cohen & Patel can effectively fight for your rights. We will create a staunch defense if you are facing drug charges, sex crimes, domestic violence, a DUI, and more. We are also able to help you seek an expungement so that you can have a second chance. For a criminal defense lawyer you can depend on, look no further than our firm.

Our Criminal Defense Services

Cohen & Patel proudly handles the gamut of criminal charges on behalf of our clients, including the following, among others.

Pennsylvania Crime Classifications

If you are charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, the possible penalties will depend on the seriousness of the crime, the victims involved, and your criminal history. Felony offenses are the most serious crimes, followed by misdemeanors, and summary offenses. Crimes are classified based on degree, from first-degree to third-degree, with first-degree offenses being the most serious.

The mandatory minimum and maximum penalties for a criminal conviction depend on the classification of the crime. In order of most serious to least serious, Pennsylvania crime classifications include:

  • Murder
  • Felony (1st degree) (F1)
  • Felony (2nd degree) (F2)
  • Felony (3rd degree) (F3)
  • Ungraded Felony (F3)
  • Misdemeanor (1st degree)(M1)
  • Misdemeanor (2nd degree)(M2)
  • Misdemeanor (3rd degree)(M3)
  • Ungraded Misdemeanor (Same as M3)

Summary Offenses

Each criminal classification includes sentencing guidelines, which the court considers in determining the appropriate sentence for an offender. This includes considering the Offense Gravity Score, Prior Record Score, any enhancements, and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

Felony Crimes

Felony crimes in Pennsylvania are categorized as Felony Murder, Felony in the 1st Degree (F1), Felony in the 2nd Degree (F2), Felony in the 3rd Degree (F3), or Ungraded Felony, which is the same as an F3. The degree is based on the “seriousness” of the crime. The minimum and maximum penalties for a felony conviction depend on the degree.

Murder Offenses

Murder is a felony in Pennsylvania. Offenses include murder, murder of an unborn child, and murder of a law enforcement officer. Felony murder is further separated into a crime of the 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree.

Murder in the first degree is a capital offense in Pennsylvania. A capital offense is a crime punishable by death. Murder in the first degree carries a penalty of life in prison or death. Murder in the second-degree or first-degree murder of an unborn child carries a sentence of life in prison.

Murder in the third degree carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison. Attempted murder, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit murder where a serious bodily injury occurs carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. If a serious bodily injury does not occur, the maximum penalty for attempted murder is 20 years in prison.

However, the first-degree murder of a person under the age of 18 will not carry the death sentence. A person who is 15 years old or older at the time they committed first-degree murder can be sentenced to a minimum term of 35 years in prison up to a maximum of life imprisonment. A person who is under the age of 15 at the time of committing 1st-degree murder will be sentenced to a minimum term of 25 years to life in prison.

First-Degree Felony

A felony in the 1st-degree is the most serious felony criminal charge in Pennsylvania. The penalties for a 1st-degree felony conviction include from 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This includes crimes such as:

  • Murder
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Arson endangering persons
  • Theft of property worth $500,000 or more

Second-Degree Felony

A conviction for a felony in the 2nd degree in Pennsylvania includes from 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This includes crimes such as:

  • Sexual assault
  • Involuntary manslaughter of a victim under 12 years old
  • Burglary (with no one in the structure)
  • Indecent assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Theft of property worth at least $100,000 but less than $500,000

Third-Degree Felony

A conviction for a felony in the 3rd degree in Pennsylvania includes from 3.5 to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. This includes crimes such as:

  • Bribery
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Certain gun crimes
  • Theft of property worth more than $2,000 but less than $100,000

Felony Convictions

Felonies also carry repercussions that extend beyond the criminal justice system. Even after someone has served their time in jail and paid any fines, they will be labeled a felon and have limitations on their freedoms for years to come. If you have been convicted of a felony in Pennsylvania, you may have restrictions on:

  • Running for public office
  • Owning or possessing a firearm (if convicted of a violent crime)
  • Voting (while serving time in prison)
  • Serve on a jury
  • Obtain college financial aid
  • Get government benefits

Regardless of the degree of a felony conviction, it is also more difficult for felons to find a job, join the military, find a place to live, and enter certain professions. This applies to first-degree felonies, second-degree felonies, and third-degree felonies.

Contact a Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyer

There is no crime too large or too little for me to handle. Being arrested can be one of the most traumatic experiences of your life which is why we want to help you through it. To get started seeking the justice you deserve, contact a criminal defense lawyer from Cohen & Patel today, and set up your free phone or video consultation. We also represent those facing crimes in Chester County, Bucks County, Berks County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, and all of Pennsylvania, including East Norriton, Norristown, Allentown, Lancaster, Bensalem, Easton, Levittown, Bethlehem, Erie, Mechanicsburg, Chester, Harrisburg, and more. You deserve a chance to fight for the best outcome possible when facing criminal charges. Let’s get started on clearing your name today.

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