Felony Defense Lawyers in Utica, NY Defending Clients Charged With Serious Crimes
If you have been charged with a felony criminal offense, you are likely feeling anxious and overwhelmed thinking about what the future may hold for you. Any type of criminal charge is very serious in nature and cannot be taken lightly. However, felony cases are even more life-altering by the very nature of a felony charge and its possible consequences.
It is crucial that you do not delay hiring a qualified felony defense attorney who can begin working on your case immediately. In felony cases, time is of the essence as evidence may disappear or become unavailable, witnesses may move, or their memory of the events may begin to fade.
The law firm of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC is dedicated to working for a positive outcome for our clients who have been charged with felony-related crimes. Contact our law offices today by calling (315) 500-6425 and ask to schedule a free strategy session with one of our attorneys. A member of our legal team will be happy to review your charges and make a determination on how to best proceed with your case.
What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony in New York?
Misdemeanor crimes are considered to be less serious in nature than felonies. Consequently, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor crime, the maximum sentence that you could receive would be up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Felonies, however, are extremely serious in nature, and the various penalties if convicted are dependent on which class of felony the crime falls under. Felony convictions can include lengthy prison sentences of at least a year or more in prison. A felony conviction can also prohibit you from holding a professional license or purchasing or owning a firearm.
Some examples of felonies include the following:
- Property Crimes that include auto theft, burglary, and theft
- Drug Crimes
What Are the Penalties for a Felony Conviction in New York?
New York state is known for being tough on crime and has steep sentences that accompany felony convictions. The following is a list of the various types of felonies and the sentences that can be handed down if you are convicted:
- Class A Felony: 20-25 years to life in prison
- Class B Violent Felony: 5-25 years in prison
- Class B Non-Violent Felony: 1-3 years or up to 15 years in prison
- Class C Violent Felony:5 years or up to 15 years in prison
- Class C Non-Violent Felony:1 to 2 years, up to 15 years probation
- Class D Violent Felony: 2 to 7 years in prison
- Class D Non-Violent Felony:5 to 4 years probation
- Class E Felony: Up to 4 years probation
The penalties for a felony-related crime in New York can have serious consequences that could alter the course of your entire life. Having a felony conviction on your criminal record could prohibit you from obtaining housing, student loans, and other types of government assistance. In today’s times, most employers conduct background screening during the hiring process. Felony convictions will show up, which could cause you to be rejected for the job.
Can a Felony be Reduced to a Misdemeanor Charge in New York?
The penalties associated with a felony charge are extremely harsh in comparison to those related to misdemeanors. Successfully having a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor can change the entire outlook of your criminal case, and this is usually in your best interest.
One such method involves plea bargaining. This is basically an agreement between the prosecutor and the defense attorney in Utica. In most cases, the prosecutor will agree to lower the felony charges if the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge. The defendant would still be found guilty and convicted of a crime; however, a misdemeanor conviction has significantly fewer consequences associated with it than a felony conviction.
To increase your chances of having felony charges reduced, obtain qualified legal representation right away. The legal process that surrounds felony charges can be overly complex and difficult to navigate. You need the help of a skilled lawyer who can aggressively fight for what is in your best interest.
Why Should I Hire a Felony Defense Attorney?
Felonies are the most serious of all criminal charges in New York. You should not be willing to risk your future by not hiring a qualified felony defense attorney to represent you in your criminal case.
As soon as possible, you need to seek legal representation. It is imperative that you invoke your right not to speak to the police and ask for an attorney. One common tactic that law enforcement may use is to ask you why you need an attorney if you haven’t done anything wrong. When you have been arrested, it is your legal right to have an attorney present when being questioned, and it is certainly in your best interest to do so.
Even if you believe there is a possibility that you may be the subject of a criminal investigation, it is smart to hire an attorney as soon as possible. Having an attorney who is aware of the potential situation prevents them from having to play catch up should you be arrested at a later time.
Contact the law offices of Passalacqua & Associates, LLC by calling (315) 500-6425. We will be happy to schedule a free strategy session with a qualified member of our legal team. Our attorneys recognize that good people can make choices that can adversely affect them for the rest of their lives. We strive to obtain the best possible outcome for our clients.