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Sending messages to harass someone, stealing clothes from a retail store, making an illegal turn, or running a red light could all land you in a Bucks County Magisterial District Court. If you have allegedly committed a summary offense, you likely feel quite nervous as your court date approaches. It is absolutely essential that you have a lawyer working close with you to build a defense that will either get your charges dropped or lessened.
The first thing that working with one of the lawyers from Amato Sanita Law Offices will do is help you feel less nervous because the lawyer will answer all of your questions. This will help you to feel more confident when you actually walk into the courtroom. Second, the lawyer is going to immediately begin working on a defense strategy that will give you the best outcome in court. The last thing that you want to do is try to represent yourself or simply plead guilty to what seems to be a minor offense.
Learn More about Magisterial District Courts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Throughout Bucks County, there are around 20 Magisterial District Courts. When you receive a summons or a notification from Magisterial District Court 07-2-01, you are going to have your case presided over by William J. Benz, Magisterial District Judge. This is true no matter if your summons is for a traffic citation, non-jury trial, bench warrant, or preliminary hearing or arraignment.
The courtroom that you will visit is located in Richboro. Upper Southampton Township and Northampton Township are the election districts that are covered by this specific Magisterial District Court.
You may wonder what kind of cases are handled in the court that you will need to visit on the day that is indicated on the paperwork you have received. This is a minor court. This means that it is responsible for handling cases involving traffic and non-traffic citations. Individuals who are dealing with a landlord or tenant dispute that is valued at $8,000 and under will visit this court. Civil cases that involve small damage claims are handled here as well. Judges in Magisterial District Courts throughout Bucks County can perform marriages and administer oaths.
Summary offenses are the least serious offense level in the state of Pennsylvania. This would involve things like shoplifting items valued at under $150, loitering, breaking windows after a football game, sending harassing text messages, running a red light, and making illegal turns.
When an individual is convicted of a summary offense, there are different punishments involved. One thing that a person may be required to do is pay a fine. Usually, fines do not exceed $300 for first time offenders for minor crimes. An individual could also spend up to 90 days in jail if it is their first offense. If they have previous convictions, they could spend up to 180 days in jail.
Why Working with a Lawyer Is Essential
When you have your day in a Richboro courtroom, you may be tempted to simply plead guilty to a summary offense. You may feel like you will simply have to pay a fine and then you can get back to normal life. It is true that there are some cases where a person just pays a fine and then is able to put the whole thing behind them. However, there are serious ramifications that many deal with, even for minor offenses. This is why it is essential to have one of the lawyers from Amato Sanita Law Offices with you in the weeks before your court date and when you are actually in the courtroom.
Just think of the consequences that you would have to face if you were to spend 90 or more days in jail. You likely would not have a job when you got out. You may deal with serious family problems. You may walk away with a criminal record. A qualified criminal defense attorney who has experience in Pennsylvania Magisterial District Courts may be able to get your charges dropped or lessened.