Criminal Law Attorney

What to Do If You’re Charged with a Felony

Felony charges are serious and can be life-altering. The felony charge that you face will depend on the severity of your crime, but felony charges in general still carry a hefty penalty. If you’re facing felony charges, here’s what to expect from arrest up to the sentencing date.

What Is a Felony

Felony charges are more severe than misdemeanor charges. A felony charge is a criminal infraction that remains on your record for life and is punishable by more than a year in prison. There are different types of felony charges, each with its own corresponding penalty. Some felony charges can even result in the death penalty.

Common Felonies

There are several types of felonies, each with its own corresponding set of penalties. Normally, these crimes are separated into different categories known as schedules. They’re also classified by the type of crimes they are.

Violent felonies include:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Arson
  • Armed robbery
  • Kidnapping

Other felonies of the non-violent type are known as white-collar crimes and include charges like:

  • Check fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Credit card fraud

You must be arrested for a felony in order to be charged. What happens before and after the arrest?

What to Expect from a Felony Arrest

If you’re arrested and charged with a felony, depending on the severity of the crime and your record, you’ll have the option to post bond and be released from jail. You can either post a full cash bond or post with the help of a bail bondsman.

When you use a bondsman, you typically only have to put up 10% of the bond, and the bond company covers the rest. They receive their money back when you return for your court date. The bond company sends a bounty hunter to track you down if you don’t return to court.

Your first court date is your arraignment, where you will be formally charged with the felony in front of a judge. You’ll enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, and you’ll be asked if you’d like to hire an attorney or receive a court-appointed attorney. Finally, you’re given a trial date for which you must return.

Trial Date and Sentencing

Before your trial, your attorney may strike a deal with the prosecutor in exchange for a guilty plea. Usually, this can bring a much lighter sentence. If you decide to go forward with a trial, your fate rests in the hands of a jury. When you’re found guilty, you’ll either be sentenced on the spot or given a later date for sentencing if you need time to get your affairs in order and the judge approves.

If you’re charged with a felony, it’s critical that you contract the services of a quality attorney. A felony conviction means possible prison time, and the conviction never leaves your record.

You can have trouble renting a house, getting a job, and you’ll be unable to vote or own a gun. However, a quality attorney may be able to earn you a lesser conviction or have the charges dropped completely, which is typically the ideal outcome.

You need a highly skilled and knowledgeable Criminal Law attorney to handle your criminal or civil case, contact the Gandhi Selim Law Firm today for a free 30-minute consultation. We are ready to help you at any time during your case proceedings.

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