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What is the sentence for a felony 3 and misdemeanor charge in PA?

Pittston, PA |

he has a prior record score of 3, i think.

Attorney Answers 3


As the other attorneys noted, there is no specific sentence given after being convicted of a crime (with the exception of Life for 1st or 2nd degree murder). Many factors go into a judge deciding what sentence to impose, assuming there is not mandatory minimum that he/she must impose. However, if you tell me what F3 crime he was convicted of, I can certainly tell you what guideline range the PA Sentencing Guidelines recommend.

In fact, you can get a pretty good idea of the guidelines yourself by clicking on the below link I've provided which will show you the sentencing guideline matrix (If link doesn't work, email me and I'll email you a copy of matrix). If he has a prior record score of 3, then follow across the top of the grid to where it says 3 under "prior record score". Then, look down the 2nd column from the left side where it says "OGS" or "offense gravity score" and in the box with a 5, it says "[F3]". Those two boxes intersect at the blue box that says "6-16 BC" and at the end of that row in an orange box it says "+/- 3". So, what does all of that mean. Well, it means that for many (not all) F3 offenses, the OGS is a 5 and with his prior record score, the guidelines call for a sentence somewhere between 6 and 16 months plus 3 months (taking him up to 19 months) in the aggravated range or minus 3 months (taking him down to 3 months) in the mitigated range. So, as you can see, the judge has a lot of discretion because he/she could sentence him to something as low as 3 months incarceration as the minimum and as high as 19 months incarceration as the minimum. One of those (3 months) is a short county sentence whereas the other (19 months) is over 1 1/2 years in a state facility. Plus, the judge does not have to follow these guidelines as they are just advisory. But, they do give a judge a good idea of what people convicted of a similar crime with a similar criminal background are facing. The "BC" means "Boot Camp Eligible". So, if a state sentence is imposed and he doesn't have other convictions that would prohibit boot camp, his lawyer should certainly ask for "boot camp eligibility" as it could greatly reduce the sentence.

Now, with all that being said, there is so much more that goes into sentencing. First, not all F3 crimes are an OGS of 5. So, knowing the specific F3 would help. Other factors that are relevant for sentencing are employment history, education and family background (how many children does he have and does he support them), mental and physical health, drug/alcohol problems, prior arrests that did not result in convictions, was this a crime of violence, are there individuals in the community that support him emotionally, how has he done on probation or while incarcerated in the past, did he go to trial or did he plead guilty, and the list goes on.

I strongly recommend that you provide as much positive information concerning his background to his attorney well in advance of his sentencing so he/she can provide it to the judge in a sentencing memo. Provide character letters, diplomas, certificates from trade schools, college credits, records of past mental/physical health and/or drug/alcohol problems, any court orders showing he has custody of children, etc. I think you get the idea. A DA is going to look at his criminal record and the new crime committed and likely ask for a state sentence. So, his attorney needs to be ready to counter that argument with proof that he's not as bad a guy as he may appear to be on paper. And, that requires actual proof by way of the above information. I also tell my clients to pack the courtroom with support. It means a lot if 10-15 people show up for a defendant at sentencing. I wish you the best and if I can be of assistance, don't hesitate to contact me.

Brian Fishman

The posting of an answer to this question in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between myself and any reader. I always suggest you contact and hire a lawyer to receive legal advice.

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Unfortunately, it is not possible to answer your question without knowing the details of the crimes. If you or a friend is facing sentencing, then I strongly recommend that you bring this question to a local criminal attorney, who can advise you based on the details of the crimes and, also, his knowledge of the sentencing judge.

My comments are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications through Avvo should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Lawyers are licensed to practice on a state by state basis; do not act on information contained on this website without first speaking to an attorney licensed to practice in your state.

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1 lawyer agrees


It depends upon many factors. The one thing I can say for certain is that it is a jailable offense. I do not mean to say that this will necessarily occur. However, it is a likely outcome if convicted.

Michael L. Doyle
(215) 900-5565

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