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Types of Offenses in Chester County
In Chester County, like other counties in Pennsylvania, prosecutors will often treat misdemeanor offenses in a much less strict fashion than felony offenses. That is, while misdemeanors are taken seriously, they may not affect a person’s livelihood, cause long periods of incarceration, and/or hefty fines like they would for a felony offense. Therefore, it is always advantageous for an individual, through the use and negotiating power of an experienced attorney, to seek out an offer that negates any felony charges and leaves only lesser misdemeanor charges. That way a person can feel comfortable that their future is still being protected and that they have a chance of recovering from such an incident.
Felonies are treated with the utmost seriousness. Felonies often involve major crime, injuries, and acts, whether drug possession, sales, and/or assaults on a police officer. All are characterized under the blanket of a felony offense and often will result in long periods of incarceration or probation and extremely high fines and cost. Therefore, navigating such a system would be nearly impossible, and extremely inadvisable without the assurances, experience, and know-how of an experienced Chester County criminal defense attorney.
Treatment of Non-Violent Felonies
In Chester County, Pennsylvania, felonies in general are treated much more harshly than misdemeanors overall. Even lower level non-violent felonies often carry higher mandatory sentences, higher guideline incarceration sentences, and much higher fines and costs. Therefore, in comparison to non-violent felonies, misdemeanors are always a lighter charge in any type of criminal case.
The courts in Pennsylvania, as the legislatures indicated, look on a felony as a felony. A felony can impact a person’s ability to work, vote, or even run for certain offices. A felony is a charge that most individuals find extremely difficult to overcome, even after their sentence is completed. Therefore, it is always advantageous for an individual charged with any sort of felony to have the matter negotiated down as low as possible. In some cases, with the help of an attorney, felonies whether violent or non-violent, can often be worked out or plead down in a way where only misdemeanor or less will appear on a person’s record.
Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction
In Chester County, like the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, misdemeanors are dealt with in a much lighter fashion than any felony offense. However, misdemeanors still impact a person’s record and may impact an individual’s future. Misdemeanors cannot be expunged from an individual’s record, even after a specified period of time. The only remedy an individual who has plead to or been found guilty of a misdemeanor crime has in trying to take that matter off of their record is to seek a pardon from the governor.
Pardons are rare, they are costly, and they often are not accepted. Therefore, the best route when charged with a misdemeanor in Chester County, is usually to acquire the assistance of an attorney and seek out an acquittal or a diversionary program where a person’s record can be protected.
It seems too easy sometimes when a person shows up to court and they just plead out to a misdemeanor offense, take the probation and fines, and go on their way. The problem is five or 10 years down the road that offense harms a person’s ability to continue their employment and even raise their children in the way they see fit. Therefore, it is of utmost importance in Chester County, like the rest of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to obtain the help of an attorney as soon as possible.
If these matters are dealt with, even at the preliminary hearing stage, these are matters that ultimately will not affect an individual. Once an individual is convicted of even a misdemeanor, the harm has been done and it is nearly impossible to change.