Third Degree Misdemeanor
Misdemeanor crimes in Pennsylvania, including their associated penalties, are outlined extensively under the Commonwealth’s legal statutes. Although a third-degree misdemeanor is considered the least serious misdemeanor, it is still categorized as a criminal offense, and thus carries with it significant legal and collateral consequences.
If you have been arrested for a third-degree misdemeanor, you need an experienced third-degree misdemeanor lawyer to help you maneuver through this difficult time. At Fienman Defense, we have the resources to deal with the prosecution effectively and mitigate the potential consequences pertaining to your charges. To set up a free consultation during which you’ll learn more about Pennsylvania offense classes, call us today at (215) 839-9529.
Third Degree Misdemeanor Penalties and Offenses in Pennsylvania
Convictions of third-degree misdemeanors in Pennsylvania carry the following possible penalties:
- Up to one year in jail
- Maximum fine of $2,500
Some offenses categorized as third-degree misdemeanors in Pennsylvania include:
- Disorderly conduct (with the intention to cause substantial inconvenience or harm)
- Harassment (more serious forms of the offense)
- Theft of property valued at less than $50
- Defiant trespassing
- Giving false identification to law enforcement
- Agricultural vandalism (where the property loss is $500 or less)
- Writing a bad check (where the check or order is $200 or more, but less than $500)
- Receiving stolen property valued at less than $50
Additional third-degree misdemeanor offenses in PA include loitering and prowling, obstructing emergency vehicles, and selling liquor to minors.
Grading a Third-Degree Misdemeanor Sentence in Pennsylvania
Third-degree misdemeanors, as well as all other crimes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, are sentenced by presiding judges according to the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines. Judges are required to utilize the combination of two factors when determining and issuing sentences. These factors are:
- Offense Gravity Score (OGS) – a numeric value that corresponds to the severity of the offense
- Prior Record Score (PRS) – a numeric value that indicates the defendant’s criminal history, i.e., previous convictions
By utilizing these two factors, a Pennsylvania judge finds the recommended range of sentencing options available for a particular crime. Judges do, however, have discretion to deviate from these restrictions when other aggravating or mitigating elements exist within the case.
Trial judges in Pennsylvania often have the freedom to order sentences that allow the convicted defendant to avoid prison time. Instead, judges could order that you serve probation or even community service. With that said, there are crimes that Pennsylvania judges are required to enforce under the law according to prescribed mandatory minimum sentences.
Consider the Consequences of a Third Degree Misdemeanor Conviction
Even the most minor criminal charge should never be viewed as a simple inconvenience. A third-degree misdemeanor has the potential to put you in prison for one year and impose significant fines upon you. However, beyond these penalties, you may also suffer the loss of future employment and/or educational opportunities due to having a criminal record. Therefore, it is important to minimize – or if possible, eliminate – these potential penalties and consequences by having strong legal counsel working on your behalf from the very outset of your case.
Some consequences of a third-degree misdemeanor conviction are:
- Immigration and/or citizenship issues
- A criminal record
- Tarnished reputation with family, friends, and colleagues
- Difficulty retaining a professional license
Successful Defense Against Third-Degree Misdemeanor Charges
Many of the lower courts in Pennsylvania handle misdemeanor cases. The sentences imposed upon convicted defendants in third-degree misdemeanor cases often involve minimal prison time, if any, and/or fines, probation, or community service. A third-degree misdemeanor lawyer at Fienman Defense understands how these cases work. We know how to handle your case from start to finish in order to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Through our extensive resources and investigative capabilities, we evaluate the details of your case, including the evidence put forth by the prosecution. We can also determine if your constitutional rights have been set aside unlawfully in any way regarding search or seizure, or your arrest.
We will also examine witness credibility and other circumstances that surround the events related to the charges against you. We use every available legal opportunity to defend your rights and ensure you are treated fairly within the justice system during a case surrounding a third-degree misdemeanor.
Contact an Experienced Third Degree Misdemeanor Lawyer in Pennsylvania
If you are staring down a third-degree misdemeanor charge in Pennsylvania, you need an experienced attorney – someone who understands your situation and can fight vigorously on your behalf against the prosecution’s case. At Fienman Defense, we have extensive experience successfully handling a range of misdemeanor cases for clients. Let’s discuss your case. To set up a free case evaluation, contact us today at (215) 839-9529, or reach us through our contact form.