Felonies are the most serious non-homicide crimes in Pennsylvania. Convictions for felonies can result in a sentence as long as twenty years in jail, and can include serious collateral consequences, like the forfeiture of a pension, the loss of a driver’s license or disqualification for employment. Conviction for a felony also disqualifies the defendant from purchasing, owning or possessing firearms. Aggravated assault (including certain accidents that occur while driving under the influence), possession with intent to deliver, burglary and robbery can all be felonies.
Because they are treated so seriously, ARD and IPP are rarely available for felony offenses. Instead, the prosecutor will sometimes offer to reduce felony charges to misdemeanors charges in exchange for a guilty plea. In such cases, many defendants escape jail time altogether in favor of a period of probation and community service. Other times, the prosecutor does not make an acceptable plea bargain, and trial is necessary to ensure the best outcome. Gawthrop Greenwood has experience handling felony matters in the Court of Common Pleas.
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