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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default What's the Likely Sentence for a First Time Offender

    My state is Pennsylvania.

    The short version of my story is this: I got drunk and had a very bad night.
    I ended up getting angry at a bar and cause some damages outside to flowerpots and some small lights totaling $150. I recently recieved a summons for a summary offence for public drunkeness and criminal mischief. There were no ammounts given on the fines, it just said I have to appear in person. As it's been explained to me so far, the county handles all fines this way. Someone close to me had a minor, non-injury traffic accident to which they admitted fault, and they still had to meet with the judge.
    The last time I had any interaction with the law was a speeding ticket 10 years ago, which was paid immediately.
    I know that no one can tell me exactly what will happen, but all the lawyers in my area charge a consulting fee, so I don't really have anyone else to ask about this as money is very tight for me.

    What my question boils down to is, what can I expect as far as a punishment goes? I intend to plead guilty, but what's the likelihood of a first-time offender getting community service/jail time? I haven't served any jail time yet, the officer drove me home and released me the night of the incident.
    My main concern is that I have a major job opportunity coming up which financially is a major step for me, but it would require me to move to New Jersey. I'm likely going to be offered the job this week, but the earliest the judge can meet with me is July 27. If I do get the offer and give a two-week's notice, I'd be screwed if I found out I was bound to this specific area mere days before I were to move.
    I understand I have a price to pay for what I did, and I truly am remorseful. Basically I just want to have an idea of what to expect before this job offer comes. They don't do background checks.
    If I do get community service, is there a chance of me serving it in NJ? If it has to be done in PA, could I request to do it in Philly since I'd be living just outside Camden?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: What's the Likely Sentence for a First Time Offender

    You're most likely going to get probation, but obviously I can make no promises. Try to have the court date rescheduled for a date you can conveniently attend. You'll have to work out the details of your probation and any community service with your probation officer. Given the involvement of alcohol in your offense, it may help you to start attending AA and keeping a log of your attendance.

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