Being convicted and having a criminal record make life difficult. Crimes are considered as either a felony or misdemeanor upon charging and conviction. A felony can be described as a crime that can be punished by a year or more of prison time and high fines substituted onto a sentence. A felony can also be punished by probation via the department of corrections. Misdemeanor crime involves community service through monitoring by the local county probation office, usually accompanied by small fines. A misdemeanor entails a jail term of up to one year for a first-degree offense and up to 60 days for a second-degree misdemeanor.
A felony charge is a worse charge scenario as it costs you long-term losses and is likely to bar you from employment and educational opportunities. Unlike felony, misdemeanor involves less time. Examples of felony crimes include terrorism, class 6 felony, and sexual assaults. A felony charge can be dropped into a misdemeanor charge depending on the crime, stage of the proceedings, and the defendant. The reduction can take place through a plea bargain, good behavior portrayed during probation, and mistakes found on further investigations.
Plea bargain: A professional criminal defense attorney carries this out to reduce the severity of charges sentenced. The offender may negotiate with the prosecution bench to accept the accountability of some charges, and in turn, the charges are dropped to a misdemeanor.
Error in charges: Mistakes by arresting officers could label your case as a felony when it’s a misdemeanor case. For instance, for a self-defense case, prosecutors could reduce the charge if the injury inflicted upon the victim is minute.
Wobblers offense: This is an offense that either felony or misdemeanor can punish.
Expected Benefits of Reducing Felony to a Misdemeanor
- Reduced felony charge benefits you in that you can apply for jobs freely and answer honestly on a job application
- Being able to secure and obtain affordable housing
- You can easily seek child custody rights
- Easy to get a professional license
- Reduced need to check in with probation officer as the charges lessen
- With a clean background check, reduction of costs eliminates the guilt of being a felony
- You can honestly say you have never been convicted of a felony as you can have your record expunged and hidden from the public.
Roles of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Criminal case attorneys handle legal representations as they serve as a confidant, protector, and defendant’s guide. Both the private and court-appointed criminal defense attorneys research facts, investigate the cases, and negotiate with the prosecutors. Criminal defense attorneys negotiate for reduced sentences, reduced bail, and reduced charges.
The defense counsels examine and question witnesses, aid in formulating plea, assess potential sentences, analyses prosecutors case, seizure procedures, review search, and gathers the evidence needed for a particular court hearing.
Criminal attorneys’ advice on potential consequences, conviction, and plea concerning the case
Criminal attorneys provide reality checks like the possible outcomes to the defendant. They help the defendant deal with fears and frustrations associated with conviction and the criminal justice system.
Categories of Criminal Attorneys to Aid in Defendant Representation
- Court-appointed attorneys: The government pays them. The court appoints a defense counsel for criminal defendants who can’t afford to hire private counsel.
- Private attorneys: They are highly expensive and are paid by the defendant.
A felony charge is reducible if the punishment for the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison up to one year. Only the District Attorney or a Judge has the discretion mandate to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Once a felony is diminished, it is as if there never was such a charge. Defense counsels are essential in representing the defendant at trials.