Criminal charges in Pennsylvania are typically in one of two categories — misdemeanors or felonies. For the most part, felonies are more serious allegations that carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors. Being charged with a felony is no small matter, and a vigorous criminal defense is often necessary for achieving the best possible outcome.

Felonies are often distinguished by where defendants face incarceration. Alleged crimes that carry potential sentences in state prisons are considered felonies, while those that can lead to incarceration in an area jail are misdemeanors. Incarceration for felonies may also last anywhere from a year to much longer and come with significant monetary fines. In some instances a crime might lead to incarceration in either a state prison or a more local jail, and the crime will ultimately be defined as a felony or misdemeanor based on where the sentence is actually served.

Repeat felony offenders can usually expect to face even more severe consequences for additional convictions. This is especially true if the allegations are considered heinous in fashion. First-time felony offenders will have to contend with prison time and fines, whereas repeat offenders will likely have the potential for years if not decades behind bars and fines that total into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Felony allegations should not be treated lightly. Pennsylvania defendants accused of committing a felony have the right to create the most comprehensive criminal defense possible, which can be incredibly important when moving forward. For some, the best option is to negotiate a plea deal for lesser charges and reduced sentences, while others find that fighting the charges throughout the entirety of criminal court proceedings leads to the best possible results.

Source: FindLaw, “Felonies“, Accessed on Nov. 13, 2017