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I was issued a summons for 4 counts of criminal mischief, 2…

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I was issued a...

I was issued a summons for 4 counts of criminal mischief, 2 counts harassment, 1 criminal trespass, and 1 simple trespass at my ex husbands house which I haven't seen in 13 years. My daughter whom I haven't seen in 13 years as well. I went over there and walked atround outside house. Neighbor caught me on video and ex called the police. The criminal mischief is an (M3) and the other charges are all (S). Am I facing jail time? Damages at $993.00

Lawyer's Assistant: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

I cannot afford one although I own my own home and car. But have no disposable income except living paycheck to paycheck.

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/15/2017
Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Attorney replied 8 months ago
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31,363
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Attorney replied 8 months ago

While jail is almost always available as a sentencing option on criminal cases, if you have no previous contact with the law you should be able to avoid incarceration on these charges. There is a low-level misdemeanors but the rest are summary offenses, which are the equivalent of infractions rather than crimes.

It's best to have a lawyer with you in court when you are the defendant in a criminal case, because even though you can almost certainly resolve this without jail even without a lawyer, a criminal conviction can hurt you personally and professionally. Your best possibility to come out of this without a misdemeanor conviction on your record would be with a lawyer.

If you can't afford one, when you come before the judge at your arraignment, plead not guilty to keep all of your rights open and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender. If he says you have too much money, many criminal lawyers take credit cards and that might be helpful to make it affordable.

You could try to negotiate a disposition with the DA yourself. The worst you're probably looking at would be probation and restitution of the $993. The court would give you time to pay that/set a payment plan for you.

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Lawyer: Zoey, JD, Attorney replied 8 months ago

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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