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It’s common for people to feel anxiety or confusion after receiving a summons for a Delaware County Magisterial District Court. Don’t let those emotions overwhelm you. The better choice is to talk with a criminal defense attorney.
The Law Offices of Amato Sanita has represented hundreds of clients in Delaware County Magisterial District Court. Our focus is to answer your questions, to help you build a firm defense, and to represent you in front of the court in a professional manner.
The summons tells you to appear in Delaware County Magisterial District Court 32-2-54 in Springfield. When you go into the courtroom, you will appear before Magisterial District Judge James J. Merkins. The judge presides over a number of proceedings including traffic citations, preliminary arraignments, preliminary hearings, bench warrants, and non-jury trials in this court.
The Magisterial District Court 32-2-54 is in Springfield. This court covers the following election districts: Springfield Township’s Voting Districts 1, 2-1, 2-3, 5 and 6.
Springfield has several Magisterial District Courts. It’s important to check your paperwork, so that you can appear in the right court on the designated time and date.
In the Pennsylvania court system, a Magisterial District Court is considered a minor court. It decides all traffic and non-traffic citations. The court also handles preliminary arraignments and hearings for criminal cases. It handles landlord/tenant disputes as well as civil court cases for damages less than $12,000.
Magisterial District Courts in Delaware County
The Magisterial District Courts in Delaware County preside over and decide all summary offenses. These offenses are the least serious charges brought in Pennsylvania courts. This level of offense can include charges like disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, underage drinking, driving on a suspended license, harassment, and first offense shoplifting up to $150.
The magisterial judges preside over these courts. They have the duty to perform marriages and administer oaths as needed.
Delaware County has 33 Magisterial District Courts. All criminal charges are brought first to these courts. The court presides over preliminary hearings and arraignments for both misdemeanor and felony cases. After these preliminary proceedings, the cases are sent up to the next court level, the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.
If you are charged with any criminal or traffic offense in Delaware County, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyer can review your case and recommend many possible defenses.
Why You Need a Delaware County Defense Attorney Representing You In A Springfield Courtroom
Before you enter a Magisterial District Court, you need to know the potential penalties you would be facing if convicted of a summary offense. On your first conviction, you can face up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. If you already have a past conviction, the jail time could go up to 180 days.
You may be tempted to plead guilty, just to get past the charges. That could be a serious mistake. You may think you can represent yourself in court. That could be another serious mistake. The outcome of the case can have serious implications for your future.
Let’s say you plead guilty to a summary offense, and the judge sends you to jail for 90 days. In those 90 days, you could lose your job. Without income, you could lose your apartment. Your family may struggle without your income. When you get out, you have a criminal record. That could make finding a new job or residence difficult.
The better choice is to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney that knows the Delaware County Magisterial District Courts. Your lawyer can advise you on the best approach to the case, and, in some circumstances, might be able to get the charges lessened or dismissed.
Call The Law Offices of Amato Sanita. We can answer any questions you have, help you build a firm defense, and represent you in front of the judge. We will work to get a positive outcome for you.