Misdemeanor Charges in Bucks County

Misdemeanor charges are less serious than felonies and more serious than summary offenses. Although misdemeanor crimes carry less severe punishments, they still shouldn't be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can subject you to costly fines, incarceration, and other burdens. And if a misdemeanor crime is the cause of the creation of a criminal record, it could completely destroy your future job prospects.

For these reasons, people who have acquired misdemeanor charges should seek the help of a seasoned Bucks County criminal defense attorney. For the purposes of this article, we will address what to expect when charged with a misdemeanor in this county, and the important role an attorney can play in ensuring you achieve a successful case outcome.

What To Expect With Misdemeanor Charges in Bucks County

Depending on the nature of a crime, a misdemeanor can carry penalties of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A few examples of common misdemeanor crimes committed in Bucks County include:

  • Resisting arrest
  • Simple assault
  • Petty theft
  • Drug possession
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
  • Criminal trespass
  • Disorderly conduct etc.

When a person is arrested and charged with a misdemeanor crime, a record detailing the date of their arrest, the incident, the arresting officer, the charge etc. will be made. Usually, people charged with misdemeanor crimes are released from custody shortly after an arrest and are sent a summons in the mail to appear in court for a preliminary hearing.

Preliminary Hearing

The Bucks County Preliminary Hearing kickstarts the criminal prosecution process all defendants will have to go through. It's usually scheduled within 10 days of an arrest, but scheduled dates may vary. At this hearing, the prosecution (the Commonwealth) is given the opportunity to justify that a defendant should be put on trial. In order to successfully do so, the prosecution must present evidence sufficient enough that would make a reasonable person believe that it is possible for the defendant in question to have committed the alleged crime.

If a judge concludes that the prosecution has met this burden of proof, a defendant will officially be charged with the misdemeanor crime, and the case will progress to the Court of Common Pleas. If a judge decides that there isn't enough evidence, or that it isn't compelling enough to proceed, the case will be dismissed.

Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) Program

First-time offenders with non-violent misdemeanors may also be eligible for the Bucks County ARD program. ARD is a diversionary pre-trial intervention program that takes on a rehabilitative approach to crime. Members of this program are removed from this system and given terms to complete that aid in remedying the core of their issues, rather than punishment. If the goals in this program are met, members will have successfully avoided a conviction, the creation of a criminal record, and legal penalties.

An attorney can help defendants gauge their eligibility for this program, and maximize their chances of being approved.

Bucks County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has represented numerous clients who've acquired misdemeanor charges in Bucks County. He understands the impact the conviction of a misdemeanor crime will have on your life and can weigh your options in your unique case. Contact Joseph D. Lento today online or give him a call at (215) 535-5353 at the earliest available opportunity for assistance.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly 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 and New Jersey 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, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, 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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