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Criminal Law Blog

What Constitutes a Felony?

Tucson criminal defense attorney for felony charges

February 15, 2016

When facing criminal charges, it is important to understand what kind of crime you are being accused of. Felonies are the most severe of crimes, and they have the most serious punishments, which often include prison or jail time and significant fines. Because the stakes are so high when it comes to felony charges, you will want to have an experienced defense attorney on your side to protect your rights and reduce your sentence. Below you can get a closer look at what constitutes a felony so that you know what you are up against with your charges.

Crimes that violate moral standards

Felonies are generally classified as such, because they violate moral standards or have a direct impact on the safety or wellbeing of others. Common felonies include burglary, kidnapping, rape, murder, arson, and child abuse. There are also some crimes that may be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

High penalties

Most felonies carry penalties of prison time for sentences of one year or longer. In the case of crimes that may be considered misdemeanors or felonies, the difference lies with the place and length of incarceration. Time served for felonies will take place in state or federal prisons, while misdemeanors will be punishable with a shorter sentence in a local jail. Convicted felons will also have a loss of rights, including disenfranchisement, exclusion from jury duty, and the loss of the right to possess a firearm.

Courtroom litigation

Due to the severe nature of felony punishments, courtroom procedures must be strictly observed when convicting an individual of felony charges. While infarctions and some misdemeanors may be resolved without a court appearance, felonies will generally have longer court proceedings and demand the representation of an attorney.

If you have been arrested for a felony, contact Janet Altschuler, Attorney at Law at (520) 247-1789 to discuss your case. With more than 2 decades of experience in criminal defense, Ms. Altschuler can provide an aggressive defense to spare you from wrongful conviction or undue penalties.

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