Felonies are crimes that result in punishment of more than one year. If charged with a felony, you have the right to a jury trial. Felony charges are made in cases of murder, robbery, treason, burglary, rape, and kidnapping or more. Marijuana possession can even be a felony depending on the amount you posses and your former related convictions. A felony lawyer may be able to prevent you from being convicted of a felony if it is shown that the defendant lacked a “guilty mind” or did not commit a “guilty act”. The felony attorney will analyze the defendant’s state of mind according to the model penal code terms of negligence, recklessness, knowledge, and purpose.
A felony lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain, which is an agreement between the defense and the prosecution to secure a guilty verdict in exchange for lesser punishment or charges. A plea bargain can get you lower fines, fewer charges, a shorter term in prison, or maybe even some dropped charges. The one thing the defendant should be aware of before he accepts a plea bargain is that he is waiving the rights of trial by jury, the right to cross-examine his accuser, and the right to not incriminate himself. Because of plea bargains, few felony cases actually go to trial.
There are some things the defendant should know about how felonies can affect the rest of his or her life. If convicted by jury or plea, the felony conviction will be on his or her criminal record for life. Expungement of the record is possible over time, but it is difficult to attain in many cases.
Here are a list of ways that a felony conviction can affect a person:
Felons may not be eligible to receive public assistance or financial aid. Loss or inability to obtain professional licenses such as medical and educational. Difficulty securing employment. Ineligibility to travel to foreign countries or become a naturalized citizen. Lack of credibility in public testimony. Felons may be ineligible to vote or run for office. Ineligibility to own or possess guns and weapons. Ineligibility for security clearances for government jobs.
Felons should contact a felony attorney to plan for life after a felony conviction.
Perhaps the most severe effect of a felony conviction is the difficulty of securing employment. A felon’s criminal record can be seen by potential creditors and employers. Many employers will not hire a convicted felon. If a prospective employer asks if a felon has been convicted of a felony, they are required to answer. However, felons may or may not be required to tell their current employer. They should consult a felony lawyer to know how to handle such situations.
In summary, you’ve learned what a felony is, how it is determined, how it affects a person’s life and how a felony attorney can secure plea bargains and do general consultations. Perhaps the most painful aspect of a felony conviction is the difficulty of attaining employment after a conviction. A felony attorney can guide a convicted felon to help them know how to communicate their criminal history to prospective employers.