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Legal-Kal
Legal-Kal, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 583
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Khaled Issa
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Charged with harassment in Pa - 18-2709-A4 (lead) & 18-2709-A5

Customer Question

I just received a summon for a criminal case...in PA. Charges -18-2709-A4 (lead) and 18-2709-A5. Are these charges a felony or misdemeanor? Could it include jail time?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

You have been charged with certain types of Harassment. The state is alleging that you:

-communicated to or about such other person a lewd, lascivious,threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures

and

- communicated repeatedly in an anonymous manner.

Both offense are Third Degree Misdemeanors. These are the lowest types of misdemeanors in the State of Pennsylvania. The maximum punishment for these offense are: 1) up to one year in county jail and 2) a fine of up to $2,500; or any combination thereof.

That being said, that is only the maximum. More often than not, people with good criminal backgrounds do not get sent to jail for these low level offense.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can the person who made this claim change their mind and remove the complaint? I was speaking with someone (the complaint) who was taping me. I did not know I was being taped. Is that allowed? The transcripts from the taped call is in the affidavit of probable cause.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

The person can "remove" the complaint one of two ways:

1) They can tell the prosecutor that they change their mind and do not want to proceed with the action. Because the prosecutor is the attorney for the general public in this case, if the person says they do want to remove the complaint, the prosecutor should abide by that and dismiss the charges.

2) If the case is set down for trial, and the person who made the complaint does not show up for trial, the State will most likely dismiss the case. This is because without this person, who would be a witness, the State cannot prove their case. Without that evidence, the State would have to dismiss the charges.
As to your second question, Pennsylvania is a "two-party" consent state when it comes to taped phone calls. This means that both people on the phone must consent to it being recorded.
If you hire an attorney to fight your case, the attorney may be able to have the charges dismissed based on the fact that the phone call was illegally taped. However, this would be difficult to do because since the other person was not a member of law enforcement, they are not bound by certain laws. It is not the actual recording of the phone call that is of issue, it is on the police's reliance on that recording that may be the issue.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok --- so I should be concerned but not freaked out - loosing sleep...?
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

How would you describe your criminal background?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
One felony for white collar crime (had to take a plea and in the process NOW of getting it expunged. Different state.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

While "technically" you may go to jail, realistically you won't because you have only one prior criminal matter which was non-violent. I WOULD HIGHLY ADVISE THAT YOU HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR THIS CASE THOUGH. This is because you do not want to run the risk of having this case affect your expungement on the felony case.