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Using Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines to Assess Your Case



Using Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines to Assess Your Case

If you are facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania, then it is important to go into your court case knowledgeable. This involves knowing what kind of sentence you are looking at. Your attorney will review standard Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines to give you an idea of what you will be facing if you are convicted and what potential plea deals could be available.


OGS stands for “Offense Gravity Score” while PRS stands for “Prior Record Score.” The former refers to the severity of the crime you are currently being charged with while the latter refers to your prior criminal record. A sliding scale is used by attorneys to get a sense of what sentence you will likely be given should you be convicted. Therefore, if you are being charged with an extremely serious crime and have a lengthy criminal past, then your conviction could be fairly high. However, people facing a minor charge with no criminal past will not be facing such harsh convictions.

Determination for Settling or Going to Trial

After reviewing Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines, your lawyer will reach a conclusion as to whether it would be in your best interest to take your case to trial or if you would be better off settling. For individuals with a minor charge and no criminal record, it is often more prudent to go to trial because little is going to be at stake if a guilty conviction is reached. However, people with a high PRS and OGS may be better off taking a settlement. This is because a conviction would most certainly entail a lengthier sentence.

It is very rare that a judge deviates from typical Pennsylvania sentencing guidelines. This makes them an accurate assessment for what would happen to you if you are convicted. Generally, it is best to follow the advice of your lawyer so that you get the best deal possible for your situation.

Applebaum & Associates Can Help With Your Sentencing

Even if you are arrested and charged, there is still hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, like Michael Applebaum, can help you aggressively combat charges, and many will provide a free initial consultation. Investing in your own legal representation may help you avoid thousands of dollars in fines, as well as possible felony convictions and state prison time, depending on the severity of the charge.

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