Criminal law is a large area of law that encompasses many different practice areas. From the most simple traffic violations to first degree murder, criminal law covers a vast expanse of America’s legal landscape. Because of its complexities and vast diversity, criminal defense attorneys usually specialize in a few practice areas. On this page you can find general descriptions to most of the common practice areas our network lawyers cover.
Felonies are serious crimes that the government has deemed especially heinous and thus has attached harsh punishments to anyone who violates these crimes. Usually, a crime is deemed a felony if it is punishable by one or more years of incarceration. If you are charged with a felony and found guilty, it will almost certainly result in a loss to your rights and freedoms. Some of these loses include, voting rights, right to bear arms, and jail or prison terms. A felony is serious business and should be approached with the utmost care because once the government deems you a felon, it will take a lifetime to change that status.
Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, that the government has deemed bad but not as bad as felonies. These crimes are usually punished with fines, removal of certain privileges (such as driving), and incarceration for a period of under one year. Even though misdemeanors aren’t usually punished with more than one year of jail or prison time, they should to be taken lightly. Misdemeanors on your record would not only bar you from certain privilege but also impede in you during a job hunt, affect your credit ratings, and your renter status. In addition, some crimes can start off as a misdemeanor and end up being charged as a felony (such as the 3 strike laws in certain states). Don’t let any of this happen to you without a fight!
Driving under the Influence is a misdemeanor that could result in the restriction or loss of driving privileges. Although it is usually closely associated with drinking and driving, the laws in most states actually include “any controlled substances.” These include both “hard” and recreational drugs of many kinds. Cops everywhere are cracking down on DUIs because it contributes to 38% of all vehicular deaths. A DUI on your record would also affect your car insurance premiums. A DUI lawyer could argue on your behave and help with avoiding the most serious effects from a DUI charge.
The oldest trade in the world is deemed immoral and corrupting by most states and is usually charged as a felony. Most states and the federal government have expanded sex crime laws to include child pornography and child molestation. If you are charged with a sex crime, contact an attorney right away as it could change your life forever. Set aside the loss of freedom associated with a serious felony, there are other serious repercussions attached. These include mandatory registration with the sex-offenders database, restrictions to living areas, and large monetary fines.
White Collar Crimes
This broad category of crimes ranges anywhere from embezzlement to bribery to fraud, they can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the seriousness of the crime. In recent years, both the federal and state government has enacted tougher laws to punish white collar crimes as they are becoming more and more wide-spread. Tougher laws means tougher punishments so it is advised that anyone who is charged with a white collar crime to seek an criminal defense attorney immediately as good lawyering could be the difference between being found guilty of felony and a misdemeanor.