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If you happen to be facing criminal summary offense charges in Montgomery County, you’ll most likely have your hearing at a Montgomery County Magisterial District Court. The 38-1-13 district is for cases in Plymouth Township and Conshohocken Borough’s voting districts of 1,4, and 6. This court is located off of West Ridge Pike in Conshohocken, and the Magisterial District Judge is Francis J Bernhardt. The 38-1-13 Magisterial District Court hears the following types of cases:
Summary offenses are the lowest level of criminal complaints in Pennsylvania. They typically involve matters where there isn’t a significant amount of damage to the victim; however, the fines and penalties can have far-reaching consequences. For first-time offenders, up to 90 days in jail and up to $300 in fines plus damages for restitution can be sought by the prosecution. Repeat offenders stand to lose even more with a sentence of up to 180 days in jail. The following types of criminal matters are heard by the Montgomery County Magisterial District Court in Conshohocken:
There are 30 Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts. These are different from district courts. As mentioned, criminal summary offenses are the primary matters that are heard from start to completion in this venue. The magisterial judge is elected to serve a six-year term, and their roles are slightly different from a traditional judge. They’re able to seek an alternative route if they come from a non-attorney background by completing a training course sponsored by the state. They are paid a salary and can decide the cases that come before them with a couple of exceptions. Felony and misdemeanor cases that aren’t summary offenses will begin in these courts with their arraignment; however, they’re eventually moved to the common pleas courts division after they’ve completed their course in the lower-level court. It’s common and customary to seek the services of an attorney for criminal matters that are heard in either of these courts.
Many defendants will often forego representation for lower-level misdemeanor cases. While this may be a way to save money, you’ll be risking many things. In communities where the crime has increased significantly in recent years, the prosecution is making an example of those that don’t obey the law. While many people don’t intend on breaking the law, the courts don’t necessarily consider this during the hearing process. Since these are non-jury matters, an attorney should represent you to ensure that you’ll have a fair hearing and that the charges are justified. The entire matter is reviewed to determine if an arrest or citation was appropriate in the first place or whether overzealous policing is a factor. Our goal is to ensure that your rights are and were respected throughout the entire process. We also seek to have the charges significantly lessened or to have them dismissed.
Amato Sanita Law Offices offers you representation by a highly rated and award-winning law firm. We’ll fight for your freedom and provide you with realistic expectations regarding your case. We have many years of experience in Montgomery County Courts and over 25 years of combined legal experience. We’ll be happy to review your case for free and provide you with valuable feedback. Get in touch with Amato Sanita Law Offices by calling us at 267-738-7766, and get the representation you deserve, today.