Most people know that felony charges are more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies are, in fact, the most serious criminal charge that can be made against you. While misdemeanor convictions can mean spending between 30 days and 6 months in a local jail, felony convictions mean at least a year and up to life in a state prison.
While the criminal justice system can be intimidating, your defense attorney’s job is to give you a sense of the big picture and where things stand while they handle the details of your case. When we are defending against felony charges, we don’t wait for the state to contact us. We get to the state first. Why is this important? If you wait for the state to make the initial plea offer, it will never be in your best interest.
We believe that taking the initiative sets the battle lines in our favor and that being proactive is key to obtaining the best possible outcome on behalf of our clients. We have strong working relationships with prosecutors, so they know that when we contact them we mean business. Often, we are able to point out problems with the case in addition to making suggestions for a plea agreement straight out of the gate. However, if that strategy is unsuccessful we are happy to go to trial if necessary.
Felony level charges can lead to a variety of collateral consequences if you are convicted. Many employers are reluctant to hire individuals who have been convicted of a serious crime. There can be permanent limitations on your career advancement even if you are able to find employment. Your personal relationships can also be impacted by your criminal record.
If there is one piece of advice that we believe is crucial for anyone charged with a felony, that advice is DON’T WAIT. Every minute that goes by without the assistance of a criminal defense attorney is a minute that law enforcement and the prosecution are strengthening their case against you. We understand how important it is to move quickly on felony cases and look forward to setting up your free consultation ASAP.