Avoiding Convictions In Summary Offense Cases
Pennsylvania law places criminal offenses into four categories. These are homicide, felonies, misdemeanors and summary offenses. The least serious of these are summary offenses, which are divided into two main categories: traffic and non-traffic offenses. Call the McClenahen Law Firm P.C. in State College at 814-308-0870 if you need advice about the best ways to meet and overcome a summary offense charge.
Even A Minor Offense Can Mean Major Trouble For You
Most defendants charged with a summary offense under the Pennsylvania crimes code are sentenced to pay fines and court costs and rarely receive jail time, while those charged with local ordinance summary offenses will never be sentenced to jail time. But the potential collateral consequences are more problematic than the direct consequences. Summary offenses show up on background checks associated with employment, internships and apartment applications. Thus, it is preferable to resolve summary offenses in a manner that will leave you free of a record rather than just pleading guilty.
Possible Expungement For Past Convictions
If you have been convicted of a summary offense that is at least five years old and you have stayed out of trouble for at least five years, you may be able to have your conviction expunged. McClenahen Law Firm P.C. files a lot of expungement petitions for people with old summary offense convictions that have come back to haunt them after they had originally thought it was no big deal to just plead guilty and pay a fine. Contact attorney Matt McClenahen if you are interested in having an old summary offense conviction expunged from your record.
Examples of the kinds of summary criminal offenses our law firm handles include:
- Retail theft or shoplifting
- Disorderly conduct
- Underage drinking
- Public drunkenness
- Criminal mischief
Many people plead guilty to summary offenses without consulting with an attorney. However, these people are usually unaware of the continuing consequences of a conviction under the Pennsylvania crimes code. Attorney McClenahen’s understanding of the pretrial adjudication process in the magisterial district courts of Central Pennsylvania will allow him to ascertain whether you may have a chance to have your charges dismissed and expunged through a pretrial adjudication process or whether you might be able to win at trial.