Being charged with a crime is a life-changing experience. A criminal conviction, whether for a misdemeanor or a felony, can result in severe repercussions for you and your family. This can include significant jail or prison time as well as major fines. Even a minor criminal offense can take a toll on your future, including the loss of a driver’s license, difficulty gaining employment, and difficulty gaining admittance to college.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

At SMT Legal, we are standing by to help when you need a Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney. Our team has the resources necessary to investigate every aspect of your case and help formulate a solid defense on your behalf.

What Crimes in Pittsburgh Do We Help Clients With?

The qualified attorneys at SMT Legal have been helping those charged with crimes in and around Pittsburgh for years. We understand that no two arrests and charges are exactly alike, and we will work to investigate every case we take thoroughly. If you or a loved one are facing any of the following charges, let our law offices be your first call:

Possible Penalties Associated With Pittsburgh Crime Convictions

When you are facing any criminal charge in Pittsburgh, they charge typically fall into the categories of a summary offense, a misdemeanor offense, or a felony offense. For summary offenses and misdemeanor crimes, the following penalties could be applied:

  • Summary Offense: maximum 90 days jail and fines up to $300.
  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor: 6 months to 1 year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor: 1 to 2 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: 2.5 to 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

We want to note that summary offenses are not misdemeanors or felonies, but they can be upgraded depending on the past criminal history of the person charged.

When we turn to felony offenses, we can see the following classes and penalties that could apply:

  • Third-Degree Felony: 3.5 to 7 years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: 5 to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
  • First-Degree Felony: 10 to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Speak to The Police If I Get Arrested?

If you are arrested, it is advisable to consult with a criminal defense attorney before you make any statements to the police. This is because the police can use anything you say against you, even out of context. If the police ask if you will speak with them, politely decline and tell them that your lawyer will handle all communications with them moving forward on your behalf.

Should I Allow the Police to Search My Property?

If you are present when the police want to search your property, you can tell them that you do not consent and they will not be able to search without a warrant. If you say no and they proceed to search your property illegally, any evidence found could potentially be thrown out in court. For the police to obtain a search warrant, they must prove to a judge that there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that there is evidence related to that crime on or in your property. There are various situations where the police do not need a search warrant to investigate private property, such as when evidence is visible in plain sight.

What Is the Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony In Pittsburgh?

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Pittsburgh, PA is determined by the severity of the crime. Misdemeanors are crimes with lesser penalties, such as a first-time DUI offenses, thefts, or simple assaults. Felonies are more severe crimes, such as sexual assault, murder, or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Both misdemeanors and felonies are divided by degree into the categories of 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree.

What Is the Difference Between A Dismissal And An Expungement?

If you were charged with a crime, but the charges were dropped, your criminal record will show that the charges were dismissed. You can also be found not guilty at trial, making you immediately eligible for an expunction. An expungement is a court order that will remove all records related to the instant arrest and/or conviction.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pittsburgh?

Criminal defense lawyers will calculate what they charge based on a variety of different factors, including the number of charges, the severity of the charges, and whether or not the individual has prior offenses. The best way to figure out what representation for a criminal defense might cost is to contact a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer for a consultation.

Do I Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney If I Plan on Pleading Guilty?

If you plan on pleading guilty, it is still in your best interest to consult with a criminal defense lawyer before doing so. Pleading guilty to a crime may not always be the best solution; and, experienced legal counsel may be able to leverage your plea for a lesser punishment. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you determine the best course of action and may also be able to have your charges reduced.

How Long Do Criminal Charges Appear on Your Record?

Felony charges stay on an individual’s criminal record forever. Some misdemeanor offenses may be expunged after seven years if you do not receive any new charges during that time period. Misdemeanor charges that are not eligible for expungement include crimes involving violence, weapons, or sex crimes.

Should I Hire a Lawyer Right Away?

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side is never a bad idea when dealing with the criminal justice system. Generally, if you are accused of a crime, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. This is because the sooner you get in touch with counsel, the better the chance they will be able to help you. They will work to protect your rights and make sure your voice is heard throughout the process.

What Can I Expect from Criminal Defense Attorneys?

A qualified Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer can help you understand the significance of the charges against you and explain what evidence will potentially be used against you. They will represent you in court and can attempt to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf. If your attorney cannot get the charges dismissed or reduced, they will work hard to argue the best case for you at trial.

Contact a Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Pittsburgh area, contact SMT Legal today . Our qualified Pittsburgh criminal defense attorneys have helped people charged with crimes for years. Call us today at 412-819-2686 for a free consultation.

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