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Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
Magisterial district courts are in all counties of Pennsylvania except for Philadelphia and Pittsburgh that have their municipal courts. They’re divided up by county and typically hear a variety of cases. Criminally, summary offense cases are heard from beginning to end within this venue. Other criminal matters initiate within these courts; however, they don’t progress beyond the preliminary hearing phase. This goes for all non-summary offense misdemeanors and felony cases. The preliminary hearing is optional, and it can be waived by the defendant if they’d like. The preliminary hearing is simply a determination of whether enough evidence is available to establish a prima facie case. In other words, the court is determining if the case is strong enough to be handed over to the court of common pleas for a full evidentiary hearing. Arraignments are held and bail is set by magisterial district judges as well.
There are 30 courts in Montgomery County alone. The following locations are home to Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts:
Norristown (three locations)
Elkins Park (two locations)
Pottstown (two locations)
King of Prussia
Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts hear the lowest level of misdemeanor cases known as summary offenses. If convicted, these cases can carry up to 90 days in jail and fines plus any other items ordered by the magisterial district judge, such as restitution and court costs. For repeat offenders, a sentence of up to 180 days in jail is the highest level of punishment plus any other costs and monetary fines. Criminal cases that are solely heard by the magisterial district courts include the following examples:
Other non-criminal matters that are heard by the magisterial district courts involve landlord and tenant disputes, civil disputes with damages of under $12,000, breach of contract, and other similar cases.
You’re free to represent yourself in magisterial district court; however, it should be noted that this is inadvisable for any criminal matter. With the nature of the cases, you stand to lose a great deal if convicted of a crime. If your job depends on having a clean record, or you’re currently seeking employment, a conviction can cause long-lasting harm to your career and reputation. Simple traffic citations that can be handled without any type of significant consequences are appropriate for self-representation. If you’re facing more serious criminal charges that involve anything above a citation-based summary offense, you should strongly consider hiring a skilled attorney like those at Amato Sanita Law Offices to defend you against the charges. Even reduced charges can be helpful when handled by one of our attorneys that know these courts inside and out.
We offer a valuable no-obligation or cost case evaluation service to show you exactly how we might be able to help. Amato Sanita Law Offices has over 25 years of experience with Montgomery County Courts including the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. We’ll be able to provide you with realistic expectations, and we’ll take the time to listen to your concerns and answer your questions. Our award-winning staff has been helping people to have their charges dismissed completely or significantly reduced to have little long-lasting impact for many years. We offer convenient appointment times, and we’ll always get back to you quickly when you contact us for information. We specialize in protecting your rights and your freedom, so call us at 267-738-7766 for your free case evaluation, today.