As defined by the Thesaurus Dictionary, “crime” is an action or a situation of negligence that is considered detrimental to the welfare of the public or the interest of the state and is legally forbidden.
Pennsylvania’s Criminal Justice System
In Pennsylvania, criminal offenses range from stealing to aggravated assault, the most serious of which is murder, with penalties ranging from community service to death. Although there are far too many criminal activities to list in one blog post, they can be divided into four broad categories.
Violent crimes against an individual
Crimes against an individual are defined as offenses that cause physical or mental harm to another human being. These are the most serious inchoate crimes. This category includes violent criminal offenses such as assault, domestic violence, and severe battering of a human being. A homicide is another type of crime that results in the death of an individual. It can result in serious criminal charges depending on intent and premeditation. Murder and manslaughter are both classified as criminal offenses.
As stipulated by criminal law, the following is a list of some crimes against an individual.
Assault and Battery.
Child abuse and trafficking
Criminal offenses against people typically carry the harshest penalties. Anyone convicted of such a violation could face misdemeanor or felony charges and prison terms ranging from 5 years to decades. A person convicted of capital murder, the most serious offense against a person, may face the death penalty in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, approximately a hundred people have been sentenced to death since 1973, and more than 400 are awaiting prosecution as of February 2022.
A crime against property is typically considered a less serious crime because it does not directly involve harming a person. They involve destroying, eradicating, or stealing property.
As stipulated by criminal law, the following is a list of some crimes committed against property.
- Theft (Larceny)
- Grand theft
- Car, vehicle, and other motor vehicle thefts
- Demolition of property
Property crimes in Pennsylvania are punished based on the value of the property, the type of offense, and the perpetrator’s criminal history (if any). The type of property can also influence the gravity of charges and sentencing under some current criminal laws. Using theft as an example, if the value of the stolen property is $750 or more, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. If the stolen property is less than $750, it is considered a misdemeanor under criminal law and carries a penalty of up to 6 months in prison and a $500 penalty fine.
Criminal acts against Morality:
These are sometimes known as victimless crimes. They do not involve any human beings or property. Rather, they are violations of widely accepted social and moral rules. They violate specified criminal laws and are punishable by fines, imprisonment, and other statutory tasks.
As stipulated by criminal law, the following is a list of some of the criminal offenses against morality.
- Illegal gambling.
- Abuse of drugs.
- Indecent exposure.
Criminal sentences in Pennsylvania for crimes against morality range from fines to prison sentences of several years in prison, depending on the gravity of the crime. A first prostitution offense, for example, is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. Subsequent violations are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Statutory Criminal Offenses
In an ironic twist, statutory criminal offenses include all other criminal offenses because they are all considered illegal by statute. As a result, we define statutory criminal offenses as acts that are prohibited for the sake of society’s safety and advancement. Offenses against morality are also classified as statutory crimes. This category includes drug-related, alcohol-related, and traffic-related crimes.
As stipulated by criminal law, the following is a list of some of the statutory crimes.
- Driving under the Influence (DUI)
- Boating under the Influence (BUI)
- Drug Possession, distribution, or sale.
- Drugs cultivation and production
- Public intoxication
- Traffic offenses/ federal crime
- Sale of alcoholic drinks to a minor
- Refusal to take a blood or breath test
- Reckless driving
- Driving without a license.
- Hit and run
The penalties for statutory criminal offenses in Pennsylvania are numerous. For example, the first offense of driving under the influence (DUI) may result in no more than 6 months in jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $2,000. Manufacturing or trafficking a large number of drugs, such as a kilogram of cocaine, is punishable by more than a decade in prison and a fine of approximately $250,000. These penalties will vary depending on the nature of the crime.
Get in Touch With A Pennsylvania Criminal Law Attorney Today!
If you have been charged with any type of criminal offense, keep in mind that what you say and do next will affect the outcome of your case. You may be innocent until proven guilty, but a police officer may not treat you that way. It is preferable to remain silent. Consult an attorney to exercise your rights.
Wyland Law Group is a criminal defense law firm with a dedicated team of Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers who specialize in criminal law and defense and have extensive experience handling criminal offense cases. To ensure a favorable outcome, we will handle your criminal offense case with professional legal representation. Mr. Wyland previously worked as a deputy district attorney.
For more information on criminal offenses in Pennsylvania, please contact us at 58 Steubenville Pike, Suite D, McKees Rocks, PA 15136. Contact us at (412) 710 0013 for a free consultation.