Felony charges are extremely serious in New York and can result in you spending thousands of dollars or years of your life in jail or prison. If you are facing a felony conviction in this state, whether you live in Binghamton or Greater Broome County, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to provide you with legal assistance. The information they provide you with can make all the difference. Below you will find the basics of felonies in New York and how they work. Although this information is helpful, it’s always important to call a lawyer to get specific legal advice about your case.
What is a Felony?
This is a crime that is more serious than a misdemeanor and generally punishable by more than a year in jail. There are different classes of felonies in this state, which include: A, B, C, D and E. Class A felonies are the most serious and result in the most extreme punishments while E felonies are generally the least serious.
Examples of felonies in New York include:
- Weapons Possession
- Criminal Mischief
- Criminal Contempt
- Driving While Intoxicated
How Felonies Work
Once you are arrested for a felony, the process actually begins. A police officer may ask you questions, but it is your right to remain silent and decline to speak with them until you have consulted with an attorney. After your arrest you will be taken to the police station to be processed and potentially allowed to make a phone call. Then you will be taken before a Judge for an arraignment.
Your arraignment is where you will meet with the judge and have your felony charges expressed out loud. You will be able to enter your plea in at this time, which is something your attorney can help you with, if you desire. In a New York State local court you cannot plead guilty to a felony.
Keep in mind that before your trial you can meet with your attorney to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution. This is where you will plead guilty to a lesser charge so that you receive a lighter sentence than you would if you had pled as charged. For example, you could get a plea offer to a Class E felony instead of a Class C, which means potentially less time spent in prison.
If you do have to go to trial, then your lawyer is the one who will defend you. They will provide you with legal advice for what they feel is the best defense for your situation.
Hiring an Experienced Binghamton Criminal Defense Lawyer
Being charged with a felony in New York is extremely stressful and difficult for anyone. It’s important to hire a criminal defense attorney who lives and practices in the area. This will ensure that they can come up with an expert defense strategy and help you in the most efficient way possible.
We realize that cost is a factor when choosing an attorney. Our clients understand that serious crimes require serious, skillful and diligent representation. Every case is different and we cannot quote you a retainer fee without first speaking to you and learning about your case and charges. We are happy to consult with you at the jail, if needed. While we do charge a small consultation fee for a jail visit, we apply that fee toward your retainer if you ultimately choose to retain us.