Crime is something that the government takes seriously. The penalties for the most serious of crimes, felonies, reflect that. They almost always result in prison time and, in some cases, they can lead to life imprisonment. If you’ve been charged with a felony, though, you don’t need to give up hope. There’s a possibility of defending against the charges and avoiding a strict sentence. When you work with a quality criminal defense lawyer, you give yourself a chance to have your case defended. At The Vitaliano Law Firm, we can provide our Staten Island, NY clients with a strong defense and a chance at their freedom.
Felonies are the most serious crimes that a person can be charged with. However, even within felony charges, there are levels of severity, which impact the intensity of the penalties. The classes of felonies in New York are:
The exact sentences for felonies will vary depending on the unique elements of the case. Things like how much harm a crime did, whether it is a first offense or repeat offense, and the individual crimes themselves can lead to a case being judged through slightly different guidelines. Generally, felony prison sentences fall into these ranges:
In addition to prison sentences, judges could impose other penalties, such as fines, probation, and restitution to the victims.
A: The statute of limitations sets a limit on when a crime can be charged in relation to when it occurred. The limitation can vary pretty significantly, depending on the crime. For felonies, many are five years. However, Class A felonies have no statute of limitations, and others may have longer timelines.
A: A felony criminal defense lawyer has a number of different things that they are responsible for, but the most important thing is ensuring that our clients get a fair opportunity in the legal process and that the process respects their rights. One of the more important things we do is protect your rights, such as your right to remain silent, to avoid self-incrimination, and to not be subject to illegal searches. We can help you do this before you are even arrested through the end of the trial.
The other primary responsibility of a criminal defense lawyer is your defense. It’s our job to do our own investigation of your case and gather evidence and facts on your behalf. We also need to predict how the prosecution might go about making their case so that we can be prepared to argue against their claims and expose the flaws in their narrative. Finally, we can strategize an aggressive defense for you. In court, we represent you and seek the optimal outcome for you, given the circumstances.
A: If you are arrested for a felony, it’s important that you are careful to not make the situation any worse. An arrest is a particularly vulnerable time, both from an emotional standpoint and for what the police are often seeking to accomplish. In general, there are three things that can be valuable to remember:
A: The exact shape of a defense against felony charges will depend on the specifics of the case. What’s critical to remember, though, is that the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution. It is their responsibility to prove the guilt of the defendant “beyond a reasonable doubt.” As long as the defense can create a “reasonable doubt,” then your case could be won.
Facing down felony charges can be a frightening proposition. The consequences can be very serious and life-altering. It can, at times, feel like the whole system is against you as well. It’s hard to figure out how you stand a chance against the prosecutor’s office, the investigators, and the courts.
You have rights, though, and working with a good criminal defense lawyer can see that those rights are protected. You are innocent until proven guilty, and a convincing defense of your case might allow you to maintain your innocence. At The Vitaliano Law Firm, we fight hard for our clients and put forth an aggressive defense. If you are facing Staten Island felony charges, then contact us today to discuss your case.