Felony & Misdemeanors
If you are charged with a felony can, depending on the severity of the offense, be looking at the prospect of a substantial amount of jail time. A felony conviction will become a part of your permanent record, limit your ability to secure certain employment, prohibit or limit the right to possess or own a firearm, forbid you from obtaining certain financial aid and in some instances lead to deportation.
Misdemeanor charges, depending on the severity of the offense, can also carry the possibility of jail time. A misdemeanor charge will also become a part of your permanent record. Like felony charges, whether convicted or a plea is entered in your case probation and substantial fines and court costs are often required by the court.
Whether you are facing a felony charge, misdemeanor charge or both it is only natural to be confused, anxious and even afraid. The good news is there is absolutely no reason to go it alone. If you have been charged with a crime, important steps need to be taken to preserve evidence, review reports, possibly interview witnesses and safeguard your right to trial by jury if a trial would be necessary. It is important to be polite and cooperate with the authorities in criminal matters, but only after you have had the opportunity to confer with legal counsel. After all, the police are simply doing their job, but I would not be doing mine, if I did not inform you that you have a right to legal counsel, that anything you say to the authorities can be used against you and that police officers and law enforcement officials have no legal authority to cut deals or make binding agreements like prosecutors.
Depending on the crime, certain defenses exist that may lead to a dismissal of your case. Quite often, a plea bargain is reached with the prosecuting attorney that will result in a reduction in a charge as well as a reduction in the penalties ultimately assessed by the court. There are also several diversion programs that provide for an offense to be dismissed after certain conditions are met by the accused. The Attorneys of Howes & Howes can apprise you of the potential outcomes and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind. Even relatively minor convictions, can haunt you for years. Contact us at 219-326-7070, email or at the contact form provided on this site for a free attorney consultation.