NYC Felonies Lawyers
The criminal justice system separates crimes into two main categories: misdemeanors and felonies. A felony is the more serious category, but not just because the crimes included in this category carry much harsher penalties. In addition to the more severe penalties, felony convictions can follow you around for the rest of your life. Even one felony conviction on your record can inhibit your ability to get a job or rent an apartment.
Depending on the laws in your area, you may also lose other rights. For instance, any felony conviction in New York means that you can no longer own a firearm. You also may not be permitted to maintain a bank account or qualify for credit to buy a home or start a business. Losing these rights can severely impact the life you can live and may destroy future plans you had for yourself.
For these reasons, it’s never wise to handle a felony charge on your own. Even if you have studied the penal laws in New York, knowing the law is no replacement for an experienced attorney. A legal advocate who has worked in the criminal justice system can provide better opportunities for a favorable outcome in your case. Even if he or she can’t get your charges dismissed, your attorney may be able to get you a reduced sentence. Criminal defense lawyers know the prosecutors and judges involved in the court system, which gives them an advantage that you don’t possess. This intricate knowledge of the system can help them arrange deals that wouldn’t otherwise be offered.
A Deeper Look at Felony Crimes
A felony crime is the most serious type of offense you can commit and most felony crimes involve causing harm or pain to a victim. This can be physical harms, such as in assault or rape cases, but some white collar crimes that cause severe financial harm are also felonies. While misdemeanor crimes usually involve short jail terms of under one year, felony convictions carry prison terms of several years. A misdemeanor crime can be elevated to a felony charge in instances where the defendant is a repeat offender.
In New York, there are nine primary felony classifications of felonies and each classification comes with its own sentencing guidelines.
Class A Violent Felony – This classification carries a penalty of 20 years to life. Some crimes included in this category are aggravated murder, aggravated enterprise corruption, acts of terrorism, first degree arson, first degree conspiracy, murder in the first and second degree, and first degree kidnapping.
Class B Violent Felony – Under this category, convictions can result in prison terms of between five years to 25 years. Some crimes falling under this category are first degree gang assault and first degree assault, attempted second degree murder, manslaughter in the first degree, and aggravated assault committed upon a law officer.
Class B Non-Violent Felony – Depending on the severity of the crime, a conviction can carry a range of one to three years up to 25 years in prison. Crimes in this classification include second degree conspiracy, first degree criminal facilitation, aggravated vehicular homicide, first degree grand larceny, and first degree criminal mischief.
Class C Violent Felony – Crimes included here carry a prison term of between three and a half years up to 15 years in prison. Some crimes that fall under this heading are aggravated criminally negligent homicide, aggravated manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree, and assault on a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel.
Class C Non-Violent Felony – A conviction here carries a prison term from one to two years up to 15 years. It involves such crimes as first degree criminal solicitation, second degree criminal facilitation, first degree vehicular manslaughter, and second degree manslaughter.
Class D Violent Felony – This classification carries a prison term from two to seven years. Crimes that fall under this category include the reckless assault of a child, second degree assault, menacing a police or peace officer, stalking in the first degree, and second degree strangulation.
Class D Non-Violent Felony – If convicted of a crime in this category, you may serve a prison term of one to three years up to a maximum of seven years. Crimes here include second degree criminal solicitation, third degree conspiracy, vehicular assault in the first degree, or reckless endangerment in the first degree.
Class E Violent Felony – These crimes include a penalty of 18 months up to four years of imprisonment. This category includes the crimes of persistent sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth degree, falsely reporting an incident in the second degree, and placing a false bomb or hazardous substance in the second degree.
Class E Non-Violent Felony – You may receive a prison term of one and a third years up to four years, if convicted of crimes in this category. Those crimes include third degree criminal solicitation, fourth degree conspiracy, third degree criminal facilitation, and reckless assault of a child by a child day care worker.