Felony Crime Defense in Long Island

Understanding Your Legal Rights

If you are being charged with a criminal offense, you should first understand that not all crimes will be treated the same way. Differences in classification and punishment even exist within the same crime category. The details of the alleged crime and your own history can either reduce or escalate the conviction penalties. Regardless of the severity of your charges, you should contact an experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer at Prime & O'Brien, LLP right away to help you understand your rights and build your case.

Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies

Most crimes committed in New York State are misdemeanors. Shoplifting, DWIs, and identity theft – to name a few – are amongst some of the most common misdemeanor crimes reported. Typically, as the crimes themselves are viewed as "less severe or damaging," misdemeanors will bring a maximum of $1000 in fines and a year in jail. Consecutive misdemeanors could cause higher degrees of punishment, however.

Felony charges, on the other hand, are comprised of crimes that are considered to be dangerous or hazardous by nature, harming not only the individual but also the public interest as well.

Crimes that constitute a felony include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Arson
  • Murder
  • Terrorism
  • Rape
  • First-degree robbery
  • Sale or possession of an illegal substance
  • Aggravated assault

Penalties for Felony Convictions

All of the following can change the degree – or class – of your felony charge:

  • Who you were with
  • Where you were
  • How much harm your alleged crime has potentially caused

Due to the wide range of classes, from A to E, felony penalties can also vary greatly. As a generalization, felony convictions will usually include a fine of at least $1000 and a jail sentence of at least 18 months. Some cases may include lesser degrees of punishment and many more will include stricter penalties, such as a Class A drug felony crime with fines up to $100,000 and 25 years in prison.

If a court ruling is somewhat lenient for your felony conviction, or if you have committed a nonviolent crime, you may be presented with an indeterminate sentence. This allows the convicted person to serve a minimum amount of jail time and then request parole. For example, if you are convicted with a Class D felony, such as second-degree criminal mischief, you could be sentenced for seven years of jail time but request parole after one year.

Let Us Handle Your Felony Case

The simplest way to avoid the high fines and severe punishments attached to felony crimes is to not be convicted of one, but this is virtually impossible without proper representation. If you are being wrongfully accused of a felony crime, or if you feel the charges against you are excessive or unjust, you need the experienced guidance of Prime & O'Brien, LLP. Both Attorney Prime and Attorney O'Brien have served as prosecutors in Nassau County, giving them each a deep insight into the legal process that most defendants cannot claim.

Don't leave your future up to chance. Fight your felony charges right now. Call our firm to speak to a Long Island criminal defense lawyer!

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