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How Do You Know If You Have an Arrest Warrant?

arrest warrant for an individual

Warrant Searches

Getting arrested can be a scary thing, or if you think you could be arrested, it is unsettling. If you believe you may have issues with the law that would generate an arrest warrant, it is recommended to perform an arrest warrant search and address the issues before that happens. For the purpose of this article and before we answer the question “How do you know if you have an arrest warrant?”, let’s define what is an arrest warrant. An arrest warrant intends to authorize any law enforcement permission and right to arrest and detain the individual named in the warrant. There are three categories of arrest warrants: 

  • Criminal bench warrants – a person that has been accused of committing a crime
  • Non-support warrants – family court
  • Miscellaneous warrants – magistrates’ warrants or warrants outside the jurisdiction   

Any person that has an outstanding warrant can be arrested and taken into custody at any time by any law enforcement agent. An arrest warrant is only issued after law enforcement has proven to a magistrate there is probable cause found by evidence that implicates the person named in the arrest warrant request. 

Any person that believes they may have a warrant issued in their name can do an arrest warrant search and handle the manner before they are confronted and arrested by law enforcement. We’ll get more details on this topic as we go along in the article. 

What is the difference between warrant of arrest and search warrant?

A warrant is issued and signed by a judge, giving law enforcement written orders that authorize them to make an arrest, seize evidence, or perform a search. A search warrant is issued by a judge when they have been given evidence that shows there is probable cause evidence related to a crime that may be discovered during the search. An arrest warrant is issued when there is reasonable belief the person named is involved or has been involved with criminal activity.

The main differences between Arrest warrant search and meaning and search warrants include: 

  • A search warrant is issued prior to charges being filed or an arrest being made. 
  • An arrest warrant is issued later in the process of a criminal case

Typically, in a criminal case, a trial starts after an indictment has been handed down. A search warrant is issued before an official case has been established and opened. An arrest warrant can be issued after an indictment has been handed down while a search warrant must have probable cause proven. A search warrant usually has a set time frame to be followed through, meaning it is valid for only the dates stated in the warrant. An arrest warrant has a time frame as well but is usually longer than a search warrant because of the possibility the person named has gone into hiding. 

How many types of warrants are there?

In the state of Pennsylvania, there are six different arrest warrant types. If you fall into any of these categories, you can perform an arrest warrant search before and handle the manner before law enforcement finds you. The general description of these six different types of warrants are as follows: 

  • Arrest Warrant: Issued by a magistrate or judge that has had probable cause shown to them that the person’s name has allegedly committed a crime. This type of warrant may be driven by a police investigation, a witness testimony, or a grand jury indictment. 
  • Bench Warrant: Issue by a magistrate or judge when the person’s name has violated the rules of that judge’s court and maybe from a civil or criminal case. Possible reasons for a bench warrant are failure to appear in court; incomplete court-ordered class; unpaid court-ordered fees and fines. 
  • Search Warrant: Issued by a magistrate or judge that gives law enforcement authority to search a person, place, or other location when probable has been established based upon the affirmed or sworn facts, usually concerning a case. 
  • Civil Warrant: Issued in civil cases, typically a monetary issue for a debt, often results in wage garnishments. If a civil case is over the property, it is referred to as a warrant in detinue.
  • Eviction Warrant: Issued when an individual is behind on rent or defaulted on a mortgage. 
  • Traffic Warrant: Issued for a person that has failed to pay parking fines or traffic tickets. 

Do warrants show up in a background check?

It can, any type of warrant is traceable, so, depending on thorough somebody is when they do a background check will depend on whether it shows up or not. If you have any concern that there is any warrant in your name, then expect it to show up in a background check. You can conduct an arrest warrant search for yourself before agreeing to a background check. Then you’ll know if you’re transparent or not. However, that doesn’t mean that between the time you conduct your own background check or do an arrest warrant search and when the other party (like a prospective employer) does the background check, one could show up as databases are updated at different times. 

arrested individual

How do I find out if I have warrants in PA for free?

Like most other states, Pennsylvania has a website where anyone can do an arrest warrant search as well as a bench warrant, eviction warrant, or traffic warranty. To Find arrest warrants in the state of Pennsylvania, to the Pennsylvania Unified Judicial System Web portal and scroll down to the “Public Web Docket Sheets” section. For search type, enter “Participant Name,” which will take you another page where you enter the person’s name and the county. The suspected arrest warrant may be issued and follow any further instructions on How to arrest warrant search. You can also call or go in person to the law enforcement office in the city, county, state, or any jurisdiction where you may have a warrant in your name and inquire. Call (412) 368-5188 today for help with your warrant!

What Does Excessive Bail Mean in the Eighth Amendment?

A Judges Hears a Lawyer at a Bail Hearing.

What does excessive bail mean in the Eighth Amendment?

If you’re arrested in the United States, the Constitution’s Eight Amendment protects you from a judge setting an excessive bail amount. But, what exactly does excessive bail mean? Bail, of course, is basically an agreement between you and the court to assure you’ll return to the court after your release from jail for your appointed trial date. When a judge sets a bail amount, that bail amount can’t be set so impossibly high the defendant can’t pay it. It also means the amount set reflects the seriousness of the crime. For instance, if a judge sets a bail amount of $500,000 for a misdemeanor criminal trespass, that amount would be excessive, given most misdemeanor bail amounts are generally minimal amounts, and certainly well below $500,000.

While the Constitution protects you from excessive bail, that doesn’t mean bail amounts can’t be high. If you’ve been arrested for a very serious offense like murder and evidence seems to indicate you might flee if released from jail, a bail amount could be set pretty high. For assistance with high bail and large bonds in Pittsburgh, PA you can always count on the professionals at Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. Whatever type of bail bond you need, to get the process started, all you need to do is call (412) 368-5188.

What is the purpose of excessive bail?

Setting excessive bail amounts can have many purposes. Some judges may set an excessive amount specifically because they believe the accused will otherwise flee, especially when evidence points toward guilt and a probable conviction. Others may set excessive bail for political or financial gain or as a way to indefinitely detain someone simply because they don’t like that person. No matter how well-intentioned, setting excessive bail amounts is almost always an abuse of power. 

What violates the 8th Amendment?

There are many ways the Eighth Amendment can be violated by a judge or law enforcement, as the amendment not only covers excessive bail and excessive fines but also cruel and unusual punishment. If a judge knowingly set a bail amount so high it would be impossible for a person with limited finances to pay, that judge may have violated the amendment. Similarly, if a prison guard were to ignore a prisoner’s serious illness or injury they could be in violation of the amendment’s cruel and unusual punishment clause. 

Why is no excessive bail important

The Eighth Amendment’s no excessive bail clause protects you from being held in jail for an extended period, no matter the offense, if the bail amount set is deemed too high to pay. Without this protection, a judge could set bail as high as they wanted no matter the crime, whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor. When it comes to excessive bail and pretrial detention, without the amendment’s protection you could stay in jail indefinitely or until your trial, unless you were able somehow to post bail.

What is an example of excessive bail?

There have been several excessive bail cases recently that provide good examples of excessive bail:

  • A judge in Florida set a bail amount of $500,000 for misdemeanor criminal trespass for the brother of the accused Parkland, FL, school shooter. The typical bail amount for this offense was $25.
  • Suspected murderer and real estate heir Robert Durst had bail set at $3 billion that was reduced to $450,000 after an appeal against excessive bail.

How to determine excessive bail

Determining what is excessive bail can vary for each defendant. If a judge sets bail at $10,000 for a particular offense and the defendant earns a high income, that amount might not seem excessive, but that same amount to someone of lower-income could be excessive. A larger bail amount could be deemed necessary as well for the person with a higher income. Bail is set to make sure a person shows up for trial, so sometimes a higher amount is warranted. If the amount set is believed not to be warranted an appeal should be made to reduce the amount. If the bail amount is reduced, it’s because the original amount may have been excessive, depending on the circumstances.

A Person in Handcuffs.

How is bail bond paid?

A bail bond can be paid in a variety of ways. If the defendant has the amount in cash available to pay, they can pay immediately. More often than not, most people must use the services of a bail bond agent to get released from jail. In this case, when a judge sets the bail amount either the defendant or a family member or friend will contact the bail bondsman who charges a fee—usually about 10% of the bail amount—to post bail for the defendant. If you are dealing with a case of excessive bail in Pittsburgh, PA, you may have to make an appeal to get the amount reduced. But, even if your bail is a high amount, Freedom Fast Bail Bonds can help you with your bond. All you need to do is call (412) 368-5188.

Why Would Bail Bond Be So High?

Hands Outside of a Jail Cell.

Why would bail bond be so high?

Although you are guaranteed your bail amount is not excessive that does not mean it won’t be high. Usually the court will set a high bail amount because the judge believes the seriousness of the crime warrants it—it’s probably not a misdemeanor—and very likely the defendant poses a flight risk. With bail, the judge is often the person responsible for the bail amount and how that amount is determined is outlined below. 

How bail amount is determined

  • Amount of evidence against the defendant: If there is a significant amount of evidence that leads a judge to believe a guilty verdict will be rendered, a higher bail amount might be set to prevent the person from running.
  • A prior criminal history: A record of arrests and conviction may prompt a judge to set a high bail amount, even if the current charges are unrelated to past offenses.
  • Defendant perceived a risk to the community: If you are a repeat offender or have a history of violent behavior, the court may perceive you to be a risk to the community, even if no violence occurred with the current charges.
  • Possible flight risk: Significant evidence or prior criminal history may lead the judge to believe you are a flight risk. A high bail amount is often set down to keep you from skipping town.
  • The offense is severe: You don’t have to be accused of murder to be charged with a serious offense. Major crimes like sexual assaults may also lead to a steep price for bail. Actually, bail may not be provided for murder suspects.

If you are jailed for a major offense and need help with large bonds in Pittsburgh, PA, Freedom Fast Bail Bonds will be able to help. Get the bail bond process started today by calling (412) 368-5188.

Who sets bail amount

Most of the time the judge in charge of the bail hearing will set the bail amount based on several factors including criminal history and the severity of the crime. In some instances, especially with misdemeanors or common crimes, a predetermined bail schedule may be in effect. Even then, the judge may have some say over the amount. 

Can bail amount be reduced

When a judge sets bail, if you don’t think you can pay the amount, it’s possible to request the amount to be reduced. The initial amount is usually set at an arraignment or bail hearing, a court hearing held about 24 to 48 hours after arrest. At this time, a lawyer may file a motion for reduced bail. That motion will be considered at a second arraignment. Your lawyer can then submit further evidence or even call witnesses to testify on your behalf to ensure the court you are not a flight risk. Based on this information, the judge will determine if your bail should be reduced.

When bail amount is 0

There are several possibilities that may indicate a bail amount is $0 or no bond or zero bond is listed. It’s possible that due to the seriousness of the crime or risk of flight no bond amount is set. Sometimes no bond may be set if the case is high-profile. It may be that the judge just hasn’t had time to set the bond and may set one at a later time. Unless you are accused of murder or a capital offense in Pennsylvania, you have a right to bail.

Can I bail myself out of jail?

Yes, you can post your own bail. You must be able to pay the full amount at the time of your arrest to bail yourself out of jail. Usually you must make the payment in cash, although some areas may accept money orders for bail. Being able to pay your own bail is a rare thing. Most people require the help of a bail bondsman.

How much is bail for a felony?

Felony bail amounts will usually vary, often depending on the seriousness of the offense. A felony sexual assault, for instance, will often be higher than a felony battery or assault charge. Bail amounts will also vary by state. Bail for attempted murder, for instance, could be $500,000 or more, whereas a charge of hit and run in which there is no injury or death could only be $5,000. Again, this will depend on the judge, the state, and the circumstances.

How much is $500 bail bond?

If you are having to pay a $500 bail bond, that amount is usually 10% of the original bail. In this case, the bail was probably set at $5,000. The amount of bond you pay may vary depending on the bail bond agency you use. Normally, however, the 10% fee is a standard.

What is a commercial bond for jail?

A commercial bond is another name for bail bond. The commercial bond system is the bail bond system used in the United States. Under this system, you normally pay a bond agent a fee that’s a percentage of the bail to get released from jail.

A Judge Determines Bail Amount at a Hearing.

Call Us Today

Once a bail amount is set in Pittsburgh, PA, you can always count on Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. We are available 24/7 and we’re ready to help at any time. Get the bail bond process started by calling (412) 368-5188.

Is possession of a weapon a felony?

firearm violations

What is a firearm violation?

Carrying a gun to protect ourselves is our Second Amendment right. However, sometimes it is illegal to be in possession of a gun in the state of Pennsylvania. Doing so could result in Federal weapons violation or state violations regarding weapons would be in these places: 

  • Airport property
  • Banks
  • government property
  • Parks
  • Places of worship
  • School property
  • Other places that have the proper signage 

The purpose of established gun laws is to control the eligibility to carry, own, or purchase a gun. There are Federal and state laws, with each state having its own defined gun laws. Violations regarding weapons can even vary between cities.

Common violations regarding weapons laws include:

  • Unauthorized purchase
  • Illegal carrying of a gun 
  • Minor in possession of a gun
  • Possessing a gun without authorization or permit
  • Discharging a gun in public or in prohibited areas

What is considered an illegal weapon?

The Gun Control Act is a United States federal law that regulates who can own, manufacture, sell, or import a firearm. Weapons considered being in violations regarding weapons laws include:

  • Machine gun and semiautomatic assault weapon
  • Sawed-off shotgun
  • Bombs and explosives
  • Stiletto heels
  • Switchblade
  • Illegal knives
  • Selling some firearms to restricted groups, including convicted felons, juveniles

What does weapons violation mean?

Violations regarding weapons are any acts that go against the regulations or statutes established by local, state, or Federal government bodies that are intended to control deadly weapons. A deadly weapon includes explosives, firearms and the ammunition for those firearms, silencers, and certain knives.  

What are serious weapons charges?

Any weapon’s charge should be serious, and the person arrested should hire an attorney that is experienced in defending weapon charges. Felony charges for violations regarding weapons are the most serious of all weapon charges.

Those charges could be for illegal possession, distribution or transportation of firearms, and could involve a defendant with a prior record making them illegal to own or possess any firearm. In Pennsylvania, a person charged with carrying a firearm that is considered being a concealed weapons violation faces harsh penalties that may include prison time and fines, all of which will become permanent on their criminal record.

Some examples of serious violations regarding weapons charges are:

  • Illegal firearm possession – Residents of Pennsylvania are not required to register their firearms; however, they must get them legally within the commonwealth. Certain firearms are prohibited such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, bombs.
  • Deadly weapon possession – Another criminal activity is usually involved with this charge like assault and battery, manslaughter, or murder.
  • Carrying without a license – Residents can carry a concealed handgun in the state of Pennsylvania with a license. To get a concealed handgun license, there are certain restrictions that must be met, such as being 21 years of age. It is illegal to have a weapon on your person in a legal building or on school grounds, even with a concealed license.
  • Unregistered firearm possession – While residents of Pennsylvania are not required to register their firearm, there are state laws that forbid transferring a gun between persons.
  • Illegal use of a firearm – The state of Pennsylvania has strict laws when and where a firearm can be fired and if you’re licensed to carry in public.
  • Specific theft charges – In Pennsylvania, theft of a gun is a serious charge, as is selling a stolen gun. These charges are considered a felony and will be tried with stiff penalties possible.
  • Other charges – If a gun was present during the arrest of other charges like kidnapping, rape, robbery, or theft.
arrested for a weapons violation

How much time do you get for a gun charge first-time offender? 

 A violation regarding weapons charge is serious, and most are felony offense in the state of Pennsylvania. Judges in this state have a sentencing matrix to guide them in determining the punishment. 

The sentencing matrix is based on the offense gravity score, referred to as the OGS.  With regards to violations regarding weapons crimes, the OGS fluctuates from like a 10 to a 2 for some misdemeanor violations regarding weapons offenses that will determine the weapons violation sentence issued by the judge. The range of the offense gravity score is based on the surrounding circumstances of the arrest, if the gun was loaded, and any prior criminal history of the person arrested. 

Examples are for a first-time offense, being convicted of violations regarding weapons crime with an offense gravity score of 10, the sentencing could range between 22 months to 36 months. An offense gravity score of 9 could be sentenced to 12 months to 24 months. On the lower end, an offense gravity score of 3 could receive restorative sanctions of one-month jail time or probation.

Can you go to jail for having bullets? 

The state of Pennsylvania does not have a law in place that prohibits the sale or possession of large-capacity magazines of ammunition. The legislature was presented in 2013 to change this, but the state has not acted on the two bills presented. Should these House bills be passed, it will ban large-capacity f more than fifteen rounds of ammunition in a single magazine. 

It is important to state that the laws mentioned in this article are based on Pennsylvania laws and reference any Federal laws.  Each state has its own set of laws and any person that has been charged with violations regarding weapons, whether it is in Pennsylvania or any state, should seek the guidance of a criminal attorney. Are you or a loved one facing violations regarding weapons in Pittsburgh, PA? Call (412) 368-5188 today for your bail needs.

What Is The Difference Between Bond and Bail?

Bail bond

How is the bail bond calculated?

Bonds and bail are an integral part of the justice system that can often be confused in the unfortunate event someone is forced to become familiar with them. In short, the two are similar but different in nature. Bail is not only the amount owed to have a temporary respite of freedom before the trial but also includes the conditions that are meant to get that person to the trial. Bond is given by the bondsman to make good on bail if the accused does not show up for their court appearance. In either case, the use of any of the following can be used as collateral or be used as an assurance for a court date:

  • Property
  • Vehicles
  • Valuables
  • Saving 
  • Investments

Bail bonds are calculated by multiple factors and ultimately determined by the state. Such factors include if the defendant has a recent criminal record if he or she has any ties to the community the crime has been committed in. The criminal record will explain the likelihood of whether the offender will be remorseful and the likelihood they will be a repeat offender. In addition, if the accused has connections within the community then they have a greater chance of attending due to being better known.

How long do you stay in jail if you can’t pay bail?

The assumption in the American justice system is that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Bail is meant to reinforce that, making it helps a person put their matters in order and help maintain their life or the lives of that person’s family. That is also why someone can pay a person’s bail on their behalf or the defendant can accept the services of a bail bondsmen for assistance. 

Under the assumption that you are charged and cannot make bail, you will be in the process of “remand detention.” In the case the judge decides you may not show up for your court appearance, you will more than likely wait in jail until the date arrives. It should also be noted that there are two types of detention, physical and judicial. Physical remand is the amount of time the defender is in police custody while judicial remand is when the person is sent to jail. When a bail bond is not used, the accused will remain in jail until their court date. When that depends on the schedule of the judge and the severity of the crime.

How much does a bail bond cost?

Depending on the state, the cost of a bail bond can differ. Pennsylvania is defined by ten percent at the first one hundred dollars and then a set percentage of up to five percent depending on the bondsmen. The process often includes a check of the amount in question plus a percentage as payment and assurance for the bail bondsman. The bail bondsmen can be seen as a third party between an individual and the justice system. They assure the system that the individual is reliable for the bail and also the court appearance. In that case, the individual in question can get their situation in order before a court date outside of jail and the justice system is satisfied that they are reliable. 

Throughout the process, the court is the holder of the money that accounts for bail. Whether it’s out of pocket, through a family member, or bail bond the result is the same. In the case that the person shows up for the court appearance and a resolution arises, the person will get much of the money back. When a bail bond is used in this case, the bail bondsmen receives a small percentage. In the unfortunate case the individual does not show up for the scheduled court appearance, the money is used as collateral.

bail bond services

How long does it take to bail someone out of jail?

There is not exactly a general amount of time it takes for bail or a bail bond to go into effect and see the person free from jail until their court date. Regardless if it’s a large bail bond or average priced, the time can be anywhere from half an hour to twenty-four hours. The two for certain factors that can be measured in the process is when you are fast in making bail and filling out the paperwork. In terms of someone else bailing out the person destined for a court date, the length of time to make bail can be cut due to the former not being bogged down by the process. 

In the case that a person, friend, or family not having enough money to make bail, there is a solution. Bail bondsmen have a step by step process that will walk you through the situation and help your family member through the process. 

Through the bail process, the final step is always that of bail bond exoneration. At the end of each court process, all bail bonds are exonerated by means of resolution or a guilty verdict. This does not mean a full legal exoneration of the person due to that it only applies to the bail aspect of the case. Furthermore, it does not wipe away the debts accrued by the person in question, only the option to pay bail. At this point, if the person had paid bail they are allowed a return of the money or the agreed-upon amount when in an agreement with a bail bondsman.

Do Misdemeanors Add Up to Felonies?

misdemeanor bail for charges

Facing and Dealing with Criminal Charges

In the state of Pennsylvania, the court system takes misdemeanor and felony charges seriously. Anyone caught committing crimes that pose a threat to themselves or others are likely to be arrested and charged with a corresponding crime, more often that not, a misdemeanor. If you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, you have faced a misdemeanor charge, that’s how common these are. Despite how common this charge is, it’s still a serious infraction that can affect you for the rest of your life. When you or a loved one needs help with misdemeanor bail in Pittsburgh, PA, contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. We’re available 24/7 at (412) 368-5188

misdemeanor bail for DUI charge

Examples of Misdemeanor Charges

No one wants to be arrested or charged with any crime. That said, if you do find yourself in that situation, it’s important to know what’s going on. In every state, you can be arrested and charged for criminal actions. These actions are often categorized and classified into felonies and misdemeanors. Yes, there are different classifications for a misdemeanor or felony bail just as there are different classifications for felony and misdemeanor charges. More often than not, someone will be charged with a misdemeanor. Here are a few examples. 

  • Threatening Assault: If you are threatening to hurt someone, but don’t follow through with the act, that would be considered a misdemeanor. This usually carries jail time of about 6 months to a year. There may be a fine associated with the charge, but it will depend on the situation.  
  • Disturbing the Peace: Circumstances of fighting in public, bullying, etc., are almost always considered misdemeanors. Felony charges are very rare but can happen depending on the circumstances. Any punishment is usually 1 year in jail. 
  • Drug Possession: Anyone caught with simple possession of drugs, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. If you are caught selling or exchanging illegal drugs, then that would be a felony charge, otherwise, it remains a misdemeanor. You may face notable fines and jail time for possession of drugs. 
  • Theft: Misdemeanor theft charges are dependent on the value of the items stolen. There is a hierarchy that determines what is a misdemeanor and a felony. Often misdemeanors are referred to as “petty theft”.  
  • Traffic Violations: The most common misdemeanor charge is actually traffic violations. These are charges such as speeding, driving without a license, driving under the influence and more. 

Bail for misdemeanor charges will vary between $500 and $2,000 in total, depending on the severity of the crime. Not all crimes are punished the same, that’s why there are categories and classifications. The same is true for bail bonds. A misdemeanor bail amount can easily become thousands of dollars so you need someone you can trust. You can rely on Freedom Fast Bail Bonds for help with all your bail needs, including large bonds for misdemeanor or felony charges. 

How Many Misdemeanors Equal a Felony?

Misdemeanor charges do not inherently rack up and become felony charges overtime. If you repeatedly commit the same misdemeanor, such as driving under the influence, then your charge may be bumped up to a felony. That will change the bail and the punishments. A misdemeanor with bail, as mentioned, could cost a few hundred dollars. Whereas, a felony with bail may be upwards of $1,000. Maybe the best way to think of it is the difference in price of window blind repairs and window blind installation in Blue Bell, PA. Regardless, repeated offenses will be notated and charged accordingly. It is important to note that in some cases, felony charges can be dropped to misdemeanors, but that will be dependent on a number of factors. When you need help with bail for any situation, contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. We are the professionals you want on your side. Our team can help with any bail amount at any time of the day. Call us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is there bail for misdemeanor?
    • For the most part, judges stick to the typical practices and standards for misdemeanor charges. That means non-violent misdemeanors will likely have bail set at $500 or more, depending on the severity of the crime. 
  • What kind of charges are misdemeanors?
    • Misdemeanor charges are usually things like petty theft, harassment, threatening to harm another, etc. These crimes are not considered as harsh as felony charges, which are reserved for more serious crimes. 
  • Do you need an attorney for a misdemeanor?
    • No matter what the situation is, you can’t go wrong with a lawyer. They will be able to properly defend and support your during a court case. Not all misdemeanor charges will go to court, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a lawyer for assistance. 
  • How bad is a misdemeanor?
    • Generally speaking, misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies and are charged accordingly. That in mind, no one should disregard a misdemeanor charge. It will remain on your criminal record which can affect the rest of your life.
arrests and misdemeanor bail

Call Our Team Today for Help

Connect with Freedom Fast Bail Bonds when you need help with any misdemeanor bail in Pittsburgh, PA. We can help you when you need it most. Dial (412) 368-5188 to get started today. 

What’s the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

felony misdemeanor arrest

Understanding a Felony and a Misdemeanor

It can feel like there is nothing you can do when a loved one is arrested and charged with a crime. The reality is, there is something you can do. When someone is arrested and detained for a crime, it can affect everything from their immediate life to their future. They aren’t able to get to work, to provide for their families or they are convicted of a crime and unable to find a job later. To avoid this, the best thing you can do for someone is to help bail them out of jail. Bail is needed when someone is charged with a felony misdemeanor in Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more, contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds at (412) 368-5188 today. 

felony misdemeanor

What does Felony Misdemeanor Mean?

A felony misdemeanor is actually a misnomer. In our criminal system, there are criminal offenses known as felony and misdemeanor. They are two separate categories to punish differing crimes that may be committed. That means that someone can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor, but rarely can they be charged with both. For that to happen, they would have to commit multiple, serious crimes. 

Both felonies and misdemeanors have several categories. Meaning, you could be charged with a class one misdemeanor or a class three felony. They break down as such:


  • First Degree Felony: these are serious crimes that carry up to 20-years in prison and fines up to $25,000. 
  • Second Degree Felony: just as serious crimes that can carry 10-year prison sentences with fines totaling no more than $25,000.
  • Third Degree Felony: crimes that can see up to 7-years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. 


  • First Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that can see up to 5-years in jail with fines up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that can carry up to 2-years in jail and fines totaling no more than $5,000. 
  • Third Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that may see up to 1-year in jail with fines totaling $2,500. 

It’s important to note that with a felony charge, you could be sent to state prison. With a misdemeanor charge, you will be held in the county jail. More than that, some crimes carry mandatory minimum sentencing. This means you’ll be automatically charged with something like a DUI charge or weapons charge, meaning you’ll need weapons violation bail in Pittsburgh, PA. Understanding what can happen to you will help you understand what you need to do going forward.

Felony vs Misdemeanor

The felony and misdemeanor difference comes down to the punishment for the crime. Generally speaking, felonies are considered more heinous or more offensive crimes, therefore, harsher punishments are handed down. Once you know the breakdown of how these crimes are viewed in the system, it’s important to know what is classified within each category. Here are a few felony and misdemeanor examples. 

Felony Examples

  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Theft
  • Burglary 
  • DUI with Vehicular Homicide
  • Drug Possession with the Intent to Deliver/Sell
  • Vandalism/Criminal Mischief
  • Arson

Misdemeanor Examples

  • DUI
  • Drug Possession
  • Reckless Driving
  • Simple Assault
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Trespassing

You may notice that there are a few that overlap the felony and misdemeanor sections. That’s because, ultimately, a theft or burglary charge can be determined to be either or based on several things. The judges discretion, your criminal background, and more. It’s because of situations like is that it’s so important to make bail as soon as you can. By making bail, which can often cost about the same as blind cleaning in Blue Bell, PA, will help you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many misdemeanors is a felony? 
    • There is no specific or exact answer because, ultimately, misdemeanor charges do not turn over into felony charges. If and when that happens, it is because a judge or jury determines your actions to be worth a felony charge. It has nothing to do with how many misdemeanors you are charged with.  
  • Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?
    • Yes, you can. Jail time for a misdemeanor will be dependent on the crime committed. The most common misdemeanor, traffic violations, are usually only punished by a fine, but more serious actions could experience up to 1 year in jail as well. 
  • How serious is a misdemeanor on your record?
    • Though a misdemeanor is considered a “minor-wrongdoing” it is still a crime. Crimes are serious offenses that, if not taken seriously, can affect your future. Even misdemeanors can affect your job applications, ability to work, and more. 
  • Is a felony worse than a misdemeanor?
    • By definition, misdemeanors are considered offenses lower than a felony. Misdemeanors are often punishable by fines and possible jail time. That in mind, misdemeanors can still have an impact just as negative as a felony charge or conviction. 
  • Is a misdemeanor considered a criminal offense?
    • Yes, misdemeanors are criminal offenses. However, they are often determined to be less offensive in nature than felonies, but that does not make them any less serious. A misdemeanor can remain on your record as a criminal charge or conviction. 
felony misdemeanor charge

Call Us Today to Learn More

When you or a loved one needs help with a felony misdemeanor in Pittsburgh, PA, rely on Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. We are not here to judge you, simply help you in a time when you may need it most. Dial (412) 368-5188 to talk to someone today.

How Do You Find A Lawyer?

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Get Legal Help Today

There are times in your life where you may need a lawyer. Perhaps you need to fight a ticket or need assistance with Bail bonds. If you don’t have one or have never used one in the past, it is important to know how to find a lawyer that you can trust and will offer you the best service for the price. Here’s a look at how to find a lawyer suited to your needs, so you’ll know where to look when you require a lawyer near me.

What happens if you can’t afford a lawyer?

The Constitution offers certain guarantees for all citizens. One of these is the right to an attorney. For those that can’t afford one, you can get a lawyer for free. Most of the time, this is a public defender or a lawyer that is paid using public funds, which are available in most areas. If they don’t have any in the area, the court will help you make arrangements to find a lawyer who provides free legal services.

Can I get a lawyer for free?

Again, anyone charged with imprisonment is entitled to a lawyer if you don’t have enough money to pay for one. If this is the case, you’ll want to find a public defender or someone who does pro bono work to help you further. Pro bono indicates that a lawyer provides services for free, which most do from time to time.

Who is eligible for free legal aid?

Almost anyone can be eligible for legal aid, but this is especially true if you have difficulty paying for legal services. There is likely a service or organization that offers free legal aid or information in your area, you just have to look around. A quick internet search can give you this type of information, and should also provide details on how to contact them.

How can I get free legal advice?

Getting free legal advice is just as simple as searching for free legal aid. These organizations are often available to offer free legal advice as well. If you can’t find one in your city, some lawyers are also available to answer questions on legal forums and websites, where pretty much anyone can post inquiries to be answered by a professional.

Can I fire my lawyer?

If you are using a lawyer’s services, it is inevitable that in some instances, you won’t agree with the way they are operating, or you will simply need to fire them. To do so, you need to write them a formal letter saying that you no longer need their services and mail it to them. The letter should explain what your issues with them are and where you want them to send your files. It is imperative you find a lawyer to replace them beforehand though if you are still in the midst of a court battle or issue. You must stay protected.

Lawyer Working With Legal Document

Steps to Find a Lawyer

The process to find a lawyer or paralegal isn’t hard, but it may be time-consuming. After all, you must find someone that you can trust and will treat you with the respect you deserve. Here is a look at the steps.

  • Meet with lawyers in your area. Meet with a few lawyers in your area that specialize in the issues that you need assistance with. Be sure that you write down a list of questions you would like answered beforehand and ask them. In many cases, this initial contact is free, so meeting a lawyer for consultation shouldn’t incur out of pocket costs.
  • Do background research on the ones you like. Once you figure out which lawyers you like the best out of the ones you interviewed, it is important to do some internet research to see what shows up in searches. You may see things you like, but you may also see things you don’t like. Either way, it should help you further narrow down your list.
  • Ask others for advice. If you have friends that are lawyers, lawyer-like, or know lawyers, you can ask them for advice on the attorneys you have on your list. They may be able to give you information that you didn’t know or tell you who worked well for them previously.
  • Do deeper research. For your most serious prospects, do a deeper check to see how trustworthy each lawyer is, and if they have ever had disciplinary actions enacted against them. You can do this by checking references and looking into possible disciplinary actions.
  • Check out their firms. Lastly, you should go meet with your best choices in person. The way a firm and a lawyer’s office look is a good indication of how they operate.

After you complete these steps, you should have the right lawyer for you. Once you do, they can provide you with all the help you need, and tell you the information you should know, to simplify the legal process. You can ask them about anything you are curious about, from Court etiquette to trial dates, and everything in between.

If you’re interested in how to find a lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds today at (412) 368-5188 to learn more!