Summary Offenses

Lebanon Criminal Law Attorney

Pennsylvania law distinguishes crimes based on three levels. The worst offenses, like murder and drug crimes, are considered felonies. The middle ground for criminal activities, such as simple assault or robbery, is a misdemeanor charge. The final category, for any crime that is minor, is a summary offense.

What is a summary offense?

A summary offense is typically any crime with a maximum jail sentence less than 90 days and a fine that is less than $300. Generally, summary offenses come with no arrest record or a permanent criminal record.

Common Summary Offenses Include:

  • Criminal Mischief
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Harassment
  • Public drunkenness
  • Traffic offenses

What to do after being charged with a summary offense?

If you are charged with a summary offense, you will typically receive a citation. After the citation as been written, you will have 10 days to submit your plea of guilt or not guilty. If you are pleading guilty, you will be required to pay the citation in advance. If you are found not guilty at the hearing, the court will refund the money paid for the citation. Be sure to follow all instructions that are included on the citation for entering your plea and paying the citation.

Before your hearing, be sure to contact a Lebanon criminal defense attorney so he or she can help you prepare. Your attorney can make sure that you follow all policies and procedures. In addition, he or she will help you craft a defense for the case. Many people assume that a lawyer is not necessary for summary offenses, but that is not always the case. If the charge carries a jail sentence, you attorney can help you view your options to plead a lesser charge or reduce the penalty.

If you have been charged with any criminal charge, whether it be a summary offense, misdemeanor, or a felony, contact the experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys at Henry & Beaver, LLP., today. We will review your case and craft the best possible defense. Call our office at 717-274-3644 to schedule an initial consultation.