When an individual is charged with a crime, the crime is usually classified as a felony or a misdemeanor. Each of these types of crimes has the potential to impact an individual’s future by appearing on a criminal background check or resulting in potential fines and incarceration. However, felony charges tend to be more serious and result in longer-lasting consequences.
When an individual is charged with a felony, having a criminal defense attorney is crucial to potentially lessen the consequences they may face. The attorneys at Dod Law, APC can help those in Oceanside who have been charged with a felony by fiercely fighting for their rights in court and working to reduce charges if possible. Our Oceanside felony lawyers will provide you with the support you deserve.
Types of Felony Charges in California
In California, most felony charges carry a fine of at least $1,000 and incarceration of a year or more. Some examples of the types of felonies a person can be charged with include:
- Sale of a controlled substance
- Vehicular manslaughter
Some types of crimes can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on a number of factors, including whether it was the defendant’s first offense or if they’ve been previously convicted of the same crime. Some examples of the types of crimes that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony include burglary of an uninhabited structure, domestic violence, sexual battery, or forgery.
How Are Felony Charges Sentenced?
When a person is convicted of a felony charge, the judge considers the facts of the case when determining the period of incarceration. The judge is given sentencing guidelines that present options for a low-term, mid-term, and high-term sentence. These depend on factors such as the defendant’s previous criminal history, whether or not the crime was planned, and if someone was injured as a result of the crime.
Generally, the judge goes with the mid-term sentence. However, if the crime was aggravated by the use of a weapon or involved a high level of violence, the judge has the discretion to go with the high-term sentence. If the defendant only had minimal participation in the crime, the judge is more likely to choose the low-term sentence.
Defendants convicted of a felony will also be sentenced to other provisions, including fines of up to $10,000. The defendant can be sentenced to pay a fine even if they are not sentenced to jail, or the judge can order incarceration with the addition of other consequences, such as felony probation. Felony probation may include regular meetings with a probation officer, therapy, payment of restitution to the victim, community service, drug testing, and searches of the offender’s property without a warrant.
How an Oceanside Felony Attorney Can Assist Someone Who Has Been Charged
Being charged with a felony is an extremely stressful experience, particularly for those who have never been in trouble with the law before. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney working on the case can help give the defendant the benefit of legal expertise and an understanding of what the charges may mean. Oceanside felony lawyers provide their clients with services such as:
- A thorough investigation of the case to determine the best defense strategy. If law enforcement personnel violated the defendant’s civil rights or used improper procedures during the investigation, there can be an opportunity to have the charges dismissed.
- Negotiations with the prosecutor to attempt to create a plea to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor if possible. It should be noted that certain types of offenses, such as murder, are considered straight felonies and are unable to be reduced.
- Gathering the evidence and witness testimony to cast doubt on the defendant’s guilt.
- Providing guidance and advice about how to proceed with the case
- Representing the case in court, including examining witnesses, presenting evidence, and making opening and closing arguments.
Additional services that may be able to be provided by an Oceanside felony attorney include getting the felony conviction expunged after the completion of probation. It should be noted, however, that expungement is not available for all felony convictions, such as sex offenses or violent crimes.
Dod Law, APC Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With a Felony
In addition to increased fines and incarceration, felony convictions carry several other long-lasting consequences, including having the conviction appear on employment background checks, revocation of a California professional business license, or the denial of the right to vote while incarcerated or on probation. Due to how serious felonies can be, it’s in your best interest to hire an Oceanside felony lawyer as soon as you’ve been charged.
Let the experienced criminal defense team from Dod Law, APC help you fight against these severe consequences with a sound legal defense strategy and a firm understanding of the law and legal investigations. To learn more about our services and obtain answers to any legal questions you may have about your case, contact us online or by calling (619) 814-5110.