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The summons arrived. You’ve been ordered to appear in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court. Your anxiety goes through the roof. You don’t know what might happen. You may be confused about proceedings and how to approach the entire thing.
That’s where the experience of a good criminal defense attorney becomes important. The Law Offices of Amato Sanita has represented hundreds of clients in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court. We offer caring guidance and a tenacious defense for each one of our clients.
The summons indicates you need to appear in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-15 in Norristown. It could be for a traffic offense, preliminary arraignment, preliminary hearing, non-jury trial, or bench warrant. No matter the charge, you will appear before Magisterial District Judge Francis J. Lawrence, Jr.
The Magisterial District Court is in Norristown, the county seat for Montgomery County. This court covers Norristown Borough’s Voting Districts 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 and 2-1.
Because Norristown has multiple Magisterial District Courts, you need to be careful to appear in the correct one.
The Montgomery County Magisterial District Court is a minor court in the Pennsylvania court system. This court decides all traffic and non-traffic citations, landlord/tenant disputes, and civil cases up to $12,000. The court also presides over preliminary arraignments and hearings for criminal cases.
Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts
Magisterial District Courts in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, decide all summary offense cases. A summary offense is the least serious offense in the state. It includes, but is not limited to, charges such as criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, driving under a suspended driver’s license, underage drinking, harassment, and first offense retail theft under $150.
Magisterial judges preside over these courts. They also have the legal charge of administering oaths and performing marriages.
Within Montgomery County, there are 30 Magisterial District Courts. All criminal cases start at this level in the court system. The judges preside over preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings for both misdemeanor and felony charges. Once these preliminary proceedings are through, the next step is the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
If you are facing criminal charges in Montgomery County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney before appearing in court. The attorney can advise you on the best defense strategy for your particular case.
Why You Need An Attorney Representing You In A Norristown Courtroom
Even summary offenses can cause major trouble for you or your loved one. A single conviction for a summary offense comes with up to 90 days in jail and a $300 fine. For a second conviction, jail time can increase to 180 days.
Trying to represent yourself in court is not a good idea. Pleading guilty to a summary offense without legal counsel is an even worse idea. The outcome in your case is critical for your future.
Let’s say you plead guilty to a summary offense. The judge sends you to jail for 90 days. Your boss won’t hold your job and you get fired. Your landlord wants the rent on time, even if you are in jail. You get kicked out. So, you get out of jail and have no job or place to live. With a criminal conviction, you may have trouble finding another job or a place to rent.
These potential consequences are why you need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney before you go to court. The attorney can help defend you and attain a positive outcome. With an attorney that knows the way around Pennsylvania Magisterial District Court, you will get sound advice. In some cases, you might also get the charges lessened or dismissed.
Your attorney will review all aspects of your case to see what the best defense is. As needed, the attorney will gather evidence and obtain witness testimony.
If you are facing charges in Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-15, call The Law Offices of Amato Sanita today.