Lycoming County Criminal Court

Being charged with a crime can have a huge impact on your life. Even minor offenses can risk your job, your reputation, and your future.

If you've been charged with a crime in Lycoming County, you need an attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the process. The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team works with clients in Lycoming County and throughout Pennsylvania. Call us at 888-535-3686 or fill out our online form.

Criminal Courts in Lycoming

Those charged with a crime in Lycoming will interact with one of two courts, the Court of Common Pleas or a Magisterial District Court. A court should provide you with all of this information, but if you have any questions, you should confirm that you have the correct information. Failing to appear or arriving late can have serious repercussions for you.

Which court handles a case is generally decided by where a crime occurs. That a defendant lives in a different part of Pennsylvania or even a different state is irrelevant: If a crime occurs in Lycoming County, a court within Lycoming Court will generally handle the case.

Magisterial District Courts

Magisterial District Courts handle both criminal and civil matters. On the criminal side, the magisterial district courts' responsibilities include:

  • Nonjury trials for criminal summary matters
  • Preliminary arraignments and preliminary hearings
  • Fixing and accepting bail, excluding murder or voluntary manslaughter cases
  • Issuing arrest warrants
  • Accept guilty pleas for DUIs when
    • It's a first offense
    • No personal injury occurred to anyone outside of the defendant's immediate family
    • A third party's property damage is less than $500
    • The defendant isn't a juvenile

In certain circumstances, accepting guilty pleas to misdemeanors of the third-degree.

Magisterial Districts Located in Lycoming County

There are six magisterial districts within Lycoming County. With three of the offices located in Williamsport, it's that much more important to ensure you have the right address.

The office for Magisterial District 29-1-01 is located at:

605 W Fourth St.

Williamsport, PA

Its phone number is (570) 322-6159.

The office for Magisterial District 29-1-02 is located at:

48 W Third St.

Williamsport, PA

Its phone number is (570) 327-2275.

The office for Magisterial District 29-3-01 is located at:

216 Market St.

Jersey Shore, PA

Its phone number is (570) 398-4880.

The office for Magisterial District 29-3-02 is located at:

542 County Farm Rd.

Montoursville, PA

Its phone number is (570) 326-1714.

The office for Magisterial District 29-3-03 is located at:

2134 Route 405 Hwy.

Muncy, PA

Its phone number is (570) 546-7480.

The office for Magisterial District 29-3-04 is located at:

2107 Lycoming Creek Rd.

Williamsport, PA

Its phone number is (570) 323-9982.

Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas

The majority of Pennsylvania's sixty Court of Common Pleas districts align with county lines. This is the case for Lycoming County. They're the trial courts for Pennsylvania and also hear appeals from the Magisterial District Courts.

The Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas is located at:

48 West Third Street

Williamsport, PA

Its phone number is (570) 327-2330.

The Court of Common Pleas handles violations of criminal law. These include:

  • Homicide and manslaughter
  • Assault
  • Sex crimes
  • DUIs
  • Drug crimes
  • Burglary
  • Theft and Larceny
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
  • Arson

The Court of Common Pleas generally hears all cases involving felonies and some involving misdemeanors. The Magisterial District Courts handle some misdemeanors and summary offenses.

Levels of Criminal Offenses

Pennsylvania has three classifications for criminal charges based on the severity of the alleged crime. A person may be charged with one offense and found guilty of a lesser offense. The three classifications are summary offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies.

For those found guilty or who accept a plea bargain, the charge and its accompanying classification determine what guidelines are used for sentencing.

Summary Offenses

The least serious of the three classifications is a summary offense. It carries a maximum period of imprisonment of ninety days, although most of those who are convicted will pay a fine. Summary offenses may appear on criminal background checks.


Misdemeanors cover a range of severity with three different degrees. Each degree has sentencing guidelines. Individuals may face prison and/or fines if convicted.

Pennsylvania recognizes three degrees of misdemeanors. A third-degree misdemeanor is the least severe. A misdemeanor of the second degree is a step above, and a misdemeanor of the first degree is the most serious. Each degree has a maximum term for imprisonment and fines, with the first degree having the highest threshold.


The most serious of the classifications are felonies. Felonies also have degrees of severity, and sentencing guidelines depend on what degree of felony a person is convicted of.

Felonies have three degrees in addition to murder of the first or second degree. Absent certain defenses, murder in the first or second-degree results in either life imprisonment or a death sentence.

Lycoming County Criminal Procedures

When a criminal case goes to trial, a defendant must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendants may also be acquitted, enter into a plea deal, or enter into a diversionary program.

Which option is best for a defendant depends on their situation and the circumstances of their case. The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team helps our clients determine the best course of action for their case.

While each criminal case is unique, they generally follow a similar series of steps:

  • An alleged crime occurs
  • Law enforcement investigates
  • Charges are filed
  • Preliminary arraignment (AKA first appearance before a court)
  • Pretrial actions, such as discovery, motions, and pleas
  • Pretrial conference
  • Trial
  • If found guilty, sentencing

During this process, charges may be dismissed. A defendant may agree to enter into a plea deal with the prosecution.

Going to trial gives defendants the ability to appeal a ruling and have their day in court. Plea bargains, in comparison, avoid court and deprive a defendant of the right to appeal. The advantage of a plea bargain is that it often involves a defendant pleading no contest or guilty to a lesser charge. It potentially gives a defendant more of a say in their sentencing and may be resolved more quickly than a trial.

Lycoming County Attorneys

Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming. Deciding on the right course of action for you and which avenue will best protect your future and limit damage to your reputation and life can feel like a gamble.

The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team helps our clients make sense of the process and decide the best path forward for them. Call us at 888-535-3686 or fill out our online form.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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