A felony is the most serious criminal offense a defendant can be charged with, and conviction for that crime will result in a serious term of prison or probation. The legislature of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania determines what crimes are felonies based on the severity of the crime and the need for societal protection.
Common Types of Felonies
- Murder – The intentional killing of another person. There are three degrees of murder, with premeditated murder the most serious offense. This will result in life imprisonment without parole or if determined to be a capital crime, the defendant would be executed.
- Manslaughter – The unlawful killing of another person without prior malice, which means you didn’t intend to kill that other person. This can be voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
- Aggravated Assault – A more serious level of assault, this typically means that you used a deadly weapon during the assault, or that the severity of the injuries you caused merited this charge.
- Burglary – Unlawful entry into any structure with the intention of committing a crime. You can still be charged with burglary even without breaking into the structure by force. So, walking through a door that is open with the intention of committing a crime is still considered a burglary.
- Illegal Possession of a Firearm – In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with illegal possession of a firearm if you have been previously convicted of a felony, are not of legal resident status, are under the age of 21, are the subject of a protective order, or are a fugitive from justice.
- Robbery – When you unlawfully obtain property or money from another person by force, whether under threat of arms or strong-arm robbery, you will be charged with robbery. Unlike theft, which can occur without violence or even the immediate knowledge of the victim, robbery always involves actual violence, the threat of violence, or injury to the victim.
- Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography – State and federal child pornography laws are very serious and being charged with this crime will have life-altering consequences. Possession, manufacturing or distribution of child pornography typically involves using the Internet or using direct mail. If you’re convicted of delivery of child pornography charges, you may go to prison, you will also have to register as a sex offender for a significant term of years and have a long tail of probation.
- Sale or Manufacture of a Controlled Substance – The government classifies these as offenses as intent to distribute or actual selling, distributing controlled substances, or possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute. Penalties are based upon quantity and type of drugs in your possession and control or actually distributed. Even the delivery of one pill without being financially rewarded would result in a felony delivery charge. If convicted, you could face a lengthy prison sentence with significant collateral issues.
Strong, Aggressive Criminal Defense
If you’re arrested on a felony criminal charge, it is vital that you contact a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible date. The clock begins ticking the minute police or federal law enforcement officials start asking you questions. You must immediately invoke your right to an attorney. The Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara have more than Twenty-five (25) years’ experience in defending citizens against serious felony offenses. Please call us today at 610- 565-9200 to schedule a consultation.