what will my punishment be
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what will my punishment be
Im being charged with welfare fraud third degree felony. no prior record at all.
Asked on June 22, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania
M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 14 years ago | Contributor
Regardless of what the maximum potential sentece for felony welfare fraud in the third degree is in Pennyslvania, it is impossible to determine what your "punishment" will be without knowing more about the facts of your case, i.e, the strength of the state's evidence and the merits of any potential defenses that you may have. Remember, in any criminal case the burden is on the state/prosecution to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the defendant is guilty. What this means, in a practical sense, is that the potential "punishement" relies heavily on the strength (or lack thereof) of the state's evidence and/or any potential defenses. Thus, if the state's evidence is weak and/or the defendant has strong potential defenses, the likelihood that the case will be resolved favorably (i.e. with little or no punishment) increases. To the contrary, if the state's evidence is strong and/or no defenses exist, the likelihood of receiving a harsher "punishment" increases. Moreover, a defendant who takes a plea generally receives a lighter "punishment" when compared to the defendant who is convicted at trial. Thus, I strongly suggest that you consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney (or apply for a public defender) to evaluate the strength of the state's evidence as well as the merits of any possible defenses that may be available to you.
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