Scranton Criminal Defense Attorney Representing Clients in Northeastern Pennsylvania
Thomas J. Jones, Jr., P.C. knows that criminal charges are no laughing matter. Having spent numerous years representing residents of Scranton and Lackawanna County, Thomas has the experience and skill set necessary to help you move forward and obtain the future you deserve.
DUI / Drunk Driving
In the state of Pennsylvania, driving under the influence carries significant penalties. Indeed, even first-time offenders face the prospect of jail time, steep fines and the loss of their drivers license. If you are facing a criminal conviction for driving under the influence, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney that understands your situation and the Pennsylvania laws governing DUI.
Potential Penalties for First-Time Offenders
Assuming their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) registered somewhere between 0.08 and 0.099, first-time offenders face six months probation and fines of at least $300. It is important to remember that any fine you may incur does not include the costs associated with serving probation. First-time offenders with a BAC between 0.10 and 0.159 face mandatory jail time lasting anywhere between two days and six months, as well as fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
If you are arrested for a DUI in the state of Pennsylvania, you must submit to a blood, breath or urine test. Pennsylvania’s “implied consent” law states that if you are arrested by an officer who has probable cause to believe that you have been drinking and driving, he or she must administer a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine in order to determine your BAC. The test must be administered within two hours of your driving, though if the officer requests that you submit to a breath test, he or she must first observe you for twenty minutes. Keep in mind that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, your license will be suspended for one year.
Felony Offenses in the State of Pennsylvania
The state of Pennsylvania separates felonies into three categories — namely, first, second and third-degree felony offenses, with first degree felonies carrying the most significant penalties. First-degree felonies include rape, murder and kidnapping, while second-degree felonies include burglary and statutory sexual assault. Third degree felonies include carrying a weapon without a permit and institutional sexual assault of a minor.
Class & Sentencing
Any Pennsylvanian convicted of a felony faces a potential sentence that’s dependent upon the crime committed. Remember, every felony offense has a maximum penalty associated with it:
- First-degree felony convictions carry prison sentences not exceeding 20 years and fines not exceeding $25,000.
- Second-degree felony convictions carry prison sentences not exceeding 10 years and fines not exceeding $25,000.
- Third-degree felony convictions carry prison sentences not exceeding 7 years and fines not exceeding $15,000.
Keep in mind that Pennsylvania imposes additional penalties to those with prior convictions. For instance, if you were previously convicted of a violent crime, you would face a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years if convicted of another violent crime.
Statutes of Limitation
The state of Pennsylvania can only prosecute someone for a felony offense if it files charges in a timely manner. The state’s statutes of limitation dictate how much time a prosecutor has to file charges in a given case. Simply put — if the state fails to file criminal charges before a specified time, it may not file charges later. There are exceptions to this rule, however. For example, a crime such as murder is not bound by any statute of limitation.
Pursuant to state law, Class 1 misdemeanors often result in prison sentences not exceeding five years. Common Class 1 misdemeanor offenses include assault and multiple DUI convictions. Examples of Class 2 misdemeanors include theft, fraud and shoplifting. Class 2 misdemeanor convictions typically result in prison sentences not exceeding two years.
Lastly, Class 3 misdemeanors include petty theft and lower-level drug possession (i.e. marijuana), and carry a maximum sentence of up to one year in a state prison or a county jail, depending on the situation. Whatever misdemeanor charge you may be facing, it’s important to take action immediately.
Call Thomas J. Jones, Jr., P.C. Now
Being convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense can have devastating consequences. Aside from the lengthy prison sentences and steep fines, a criminal record can also impact your ability to procure future employment, own a firearm and vote. Don’t take any chances — contact Thomas J. Jones, Jr. P.C. as soon as possible for a free consultation.