Second Degree Misdemeanor
Pennsylvania has extensive legal statutes covering misdemeanor and felony crimes. The penalties for misdemeanor offenses in PA are nothing to take lightly. If found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor, you face jail time, hefty fines, and other collateral consequences. Second-degree misdemeanor offenses are considered one step lower in severity compared to first degree misdemeanors, and they carry significant legal consequences.
Have you or a loved one been charged with a second-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania? If so, you need an experienced legal advocate who understands how to provide you with intelligent and aggressive representation from an attorney at Fienman Defense. To set up a free consultation to speak with a lawyer about Pennsylvania offense classes, call us today at (215) 839-9529.
Second Degree Misdemeanor Penalties and Offenses in Pennsylvania
Convictions of second-degree misdemeanor offenses in Pennsylvania carry the following possible penalties:
- Prison sentence of one to two years
- Maximum fine of $5,000
Some offenses that are designated as second-degree misdemeanors in PA include:
- Resisting arrest
- Impersonating a public servant
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Theft or theft by deception of property valued at more than $50, but less than $200
- Retail theft (second offense) and the merchandise is valued at less than $150
- Receiving stolen property valued at more than $50, but less than $200
- Bad check valued at $500 or more, but less than $1,000
- Access device fraud (when the stolen item is valued at less than $50)
- Criminal coercion (abduction) with no felonious threat or intent
- Indecent exposure to someone older than 16 years of age
- Simple Assault
- Providing false statements
- Agricultural vandalism (where the property loss is more than $500, but less than $1,000)
- Institutional vandalism (where the loss costs less than $5000 to repair)
Grading a Second Degree Misdemeanor Sentence in Pennsylvania
Second-degree misdemeanors, as all misdemeanors and felonies in Pennsylvania, are evaluated for sentencing according to the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines designate two factors which judges must take into consideration when determining proper sentences for convicted defendants. These are: the Offense Gravity Score (OGS), and the Prior Record Score (PRS). Both factors are assigned numbers. In the case of the OGS, the higher the number assigned, the more severe the offense. The PRS is a value that reflects the defendant’s history of past convictions. These two numbers combined give the judge presiding over the case criteria to follow for the sentencing of a particular crime. Judges do have discretion to sentence outside of these criteria if particular mitigating or aggravating factors exist.
Many times, trial judges in Pennsylvania are given the discretion to issue sentences that, in lieu of prison time, mandate probation or community service. There are, however, particular crimes under Pennsylvania law that judges must enforce with mandatory minimum sentences.
Consequences of a Second Degree Misdemeanor Conviction
Although second-degree misdemeanors are on the somewhat lower end of the crime scale in Pennsylvania, they still can impose long-term consequences to the defendant. If you are convicted of one of these mid-level misdemeanors, you will certainly have a criminal record that can impact your prospects for educational and professional advancement moving forward.
Some of the collateral consequences of a criminal conviction include:
- Difficulty maintaining certain professional licenses
- A criminal record
- Issues pertaining to citizenship and immigration
This is why it is important not to minimize the seriousness of such a misdemeanor charge and retain the representation you need to mitigate the consequences of any current allegations against you.
Strategic Defense Against Second Degree Misdemeanor Charges
Many misdemeanors are adjudicated in smaller courts in Pennsylvania. Often, the sentences imposed include a short jail sentence. At Fienman Defense, we have extensive understanding of the laws governing second-degree misdemeanors in the Commonwealth.
We can carefully evaluate the evidence in your case to determine if your rights have been violated with respect to any search or seizure activity conducted by law enforcement, as well as if your arrest was carried out illegally.
In addition, we will evaluate the evidence in your case in order to build the strongest defense possible. This includes evaluating the credibility of any witnesses and the circumstances surrounding your alleged actions.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Pennsylvania
If you are facing a second-degree misdemeanor charges in PA, the penalties you are can be jail time, to fines, to probation, and more. Because of this, it is vitally important that you obtain experienced legal counsel to ensure you have the strongest possible defense against the Commonwealth’s charges.
At Fienman Defense, a second-degree misdemeanor lawyer will work hard to counteract the prosecution’s case against you and fight aggressively for your rights and freedom. To get started with a free case review, call our law office today at (215) 839-9529, or simply use our contact form to send us a message.