Northampton County Felony and Misdemeanor Attorney

The Pennsylvania Crime Code divides criminal offenses into three categories: summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. 

On the spectrum of serious crimes, summary offenses are the least serious. They're labeled as “non-traffic citations,” and essentially harmless crimes like disorderly conduct, low-level retail theft, and loitering are charged as summary offenses. In Northampton County, summary offenses are handled much more leniently than misdemeanor and felony offenses, as they never warrant penalties of imprisonment or jail time.

Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony is much more stress-inducing than being charged with a summary offense. In these cases, it's important you understand you understand what to expect as far as the process and the penalties.

Misdemeanor Offenses

Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony offenses. Depending on the crime committed, a conviction for a misdemeanor offense can result in a five-year prison sentence. Some examples of commonly committed misdemeanors in Northampton County include:

Once you've been charged with a misdemeanor crime, the record detailing your arrest will be released. Shortly after the record's release, you'll receive a summons in the mail to appear in court for what's known as a preliminary hearing. The Northampton County Preliminary Hearing will begin the criminal process that all defendants are required to go through. 

A preliminary hearing is a chance for the prosecution to attempt to establish that there's an actual case. In this hearing, there will not be a verdict; its main function is to ensure that there's sufficient evidence to justify putting you on trial. The standard of evidence for this hearing is purposely low (probable cause), so don't panic if the burden of proof is met and your case progresses to the Court of Common Pleas. However, it is possible that the judge may conclude that there isn't enough evidence, and the case will be dismissed. 

First-time offenders who've acquired non-violent misdemeanors sometimes will be eligible for alternative options like an ARD Program. If you qualify and complete the program, you can get your charges dismissed.

For a preliminary hearing and entrance into an ARD program, the assistance of an attorney is recommended.

Felony Offenses

When judges handle felony cases, defendants aren't granted as much leniency as they would in misdemeanor cases in Northampton County. For example, if a person is charged with a felony, they may have a warrant out for their arrest instead of the typical summons. Also, people with felonies are likely to have high bail amounts.

A defendant should seek the help of an attorney as soon as they are arrested for felony charges. The sooner you can get an attorney involved, the higher the chance that you'll protect your rights and achieve justice.

Northampton County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has represented many clients who've acquired both misdemeanor and felony charges. He understands that every case requires a thorough plan, strategy, and fierce representation. If you've been charged with a crime and are uncertain about what to do next, contact Joseph D. Lento today online or give him a call at 888-535-3686.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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