The prospect of becoming a convicted felon can be scary for those facing charges as well as their family members. There are various types of felony offenses in Pennsylvania, including murder, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, kidnapping, or some, certain types of property theft, and more. Felony charges arise anytime a person has allegedly committed a serious offense. Prosecutors pursue felony charges with vigorous intent, and the consequences of a guilty conviction of a felony can be severe. Here, we want to discuss both the statutory consequences of a felony conviction in Pennsylvania as well as other consequences that those facing serious charges need to be aware of when making decisions about how to proceed with their case.
The statutory consequences of a felony conviction in Pennsylvania
There are various levels of felonies in Pennsylvania. First, it needs to be noted that murder is always a felony offense in the Commonwealth. Murder in the first degree is a capital offense in Pennsylvania, and this can be punishable by up to life in prison or even death. Murder in the second degree or first degree of an unborn child carries a sentence of life in prison. Finally, murder in the third degree carries a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.
Aside from murder and felony murder charges in Pennsylvania, there are three levels of felonies that a person can face. Here, we will outline the consequences of these three levels as well as some of the most common charges at these levels:
- First-degree felony – this is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This includes crimes such as:
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Theft of property worth more than $500,000
- Second-degree felony – this is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. This includes crimes such as:
- Sexual assault
- Burglary (with nobody in the structure)
- Indecent assault
- Aggravated assault
- Involuntary manslaughter of a victim under 12 years old
- Theft of property worth at least $100,000 but less than $500,000
- Third-degree felony – this is punishable by 3.5 to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. This includes crimes such as:
- Various gun crimes
- Possession of drug with intent to distribute
- Possession of child pornography
- Theft of property worth more than $2,000 and less than $100,000
Other consequences of a felony conviction in Pennsylvania
In addition to the statutory penalties associated with felony convictions in Pennsylvania, convicted individuals will find that their lives are constrained in other ways as well. This can include a permanent mark on their criminal record that is visible to various parties. This can dramatically affect the following:
- The ability of a person to find a job
- The ability of a person to attending school
- The ability to find adequate housing
Additionally, any person who has been convicted of a felony will no longer be able to purchase or possess firearms.
Always work with an attorney
If you or somebody you care about has been charged with a crime, you need to seek assistance from a criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania as soon as possible. An attorney will have a thorough understanding of the charges you are facing and will use their resources to conduct a complete investigation into the case. The goal of your attorney is to build a solid defense to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether.