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Receiving a summons to appear in a Montgomery County Magisterial District Court can be nerve wracking. What’s going to happen? Do you have any options for a defense? Should you represent yourself? Is pleading guilty a good idea? These are all questions that you need to get answers for.
The value of having an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side is immeasurable. The Law Offices of Amato Sanita has represented defendants in Pennsylvania’s Magisterial Courts hundreds of times. We stand ready to answer all your questions and to provide a vigorous defense on your behalf.
The summons you received tells you to appear at Montgomery County Magisterial District Court 38-1-22 in Horsham. The summons could be for something like a traffic citation or for a criminal charge preliminary arraignment. No matter what it’s about, you will appear before Magisterial District Judge Harry J. Nesbitt III.
The Magisterial District Court 38-1-22 is located in Horsham. It covers the following Horsham Voting Districts: 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 2-1, 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, 3-1, 3-2, 3-5, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3 and 4-4.
This Montgomery County Magisterial District Court is classified as a minor court by Pennsylvania law. It’s responsible for a number of things including traffic and non-traffic citations, landlord-tenant disputes, civil cases for $12,000 or less, preliminary arraignment, and preliminary hearings for criminal charges.
The Montgomery County Magisterial District Courts
The Magisterial District Courts have the responsibility to decide all summary offenses. A summary offense is the least serious of charges that can be brought to Pennsylvania courts. It includes, but is not limited to, charges such as harassment, driving with a suspended license, underage drinking, disorderly conduct, and first retail theft of things under $150.
In Pennsylvania, Magisterial District Courts are under the jurisdiction of magisterial judges. They have the added duties of administering oaths and performing marriages.
Montgomery County has 30 Magisterial District Courts within its borders. All criminal cases start at this court level. Anyone facing felony or misdemeanor charges appear in this court for preliminary arraignment and preliminary hearings. They then move to the next level of the court system, the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.
Before you go before the court, contact a qualified defense attorney to stand at your side. You shouldn’t face any criminal or traffic charge without counsel. The attorney can advise you of the defense strategies that would best suit your case. In some situations, the attorney can get the charges lowered or even dismissed.
Why You Need An Attorney with You in a Horsham Courtroom
Any summary offense can end up being big trouble for you or a loved one. If you are convicted on a summary offense, you could be facing up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $300. If you have a prior conviction, your jail time could go up to 180 days.
While pleading guilty might sound like a quick way to get past the charges, it’s not a good idea. Let’s say you go to jail for 90 days. What will happen? You could lose your job. You could get kicked out of your home because you couldn’t pay the rent. Your family could struggle because your paycheck isn’t there. When you get out, you may have trouble finding a decent job or a place to live.
Don’t take your court summons lightly. Now’s the time to call an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyer can advise you on how to mount the right defense strategy. For example, if you are charged with underage drinking, the attorney may look for evidence that the drink wasn’t alcohol.
If you are facing criminal or traffic offenses in Montgomery County 38-1-22 Magisterial District Court, you to call The Law Offices of Amato Sanita today. We have successfully represented hundreds of people in Magisterial District Court. It all starts by making a phone call and setting an appointment right now.