What To Do When You've Had A Felony Against You
If you have been charged with a felony, the whole situation can be really overwhelming. A felony refers to a serious offense that bears a punishment of a more than one year in prison.
If you know what happens next after being charged with a felony, then the least you could do is reduce the felony to a misdemeanor. Meanwhile, a misdemeanor bears a maximum sentence of one year in jail.
What to do after being charged with a felony
What you can do after having a felony is reduce it to a misdemeanor through a plea bargain. Take note of the following steps you can do to attain this.
Get a criminal defense lawyer
You are allowed to get a defense attorney to represent you in all of your criminal proceedings. Public defenders and criminal defense lawyers have the experience and expertise in plea negotiations. In addition, they most likely have an existing work relationship with the prosecutor and the judge.
Plead not guilty
Usually, your initial court appearance is the arraignment where the prosecution will ask you if you wish to enter a plea. If you plead not guilty, you are requiring the prosecution to prove you are guilty in court.
Courts and jails are overloaded, so to avoid going through trial the prosecutor will most likely negotiate an agreement where you will plead guilty in exchange for some trade-off.
If you refuse to accept a plea bargain and found guilty during trial, then you are about to face a harsher punishment compared to what you could have under the plea deal.
Your attorney and prosecution will work on your case
After you the plea bargain, your defense lawyer and prosecution continues to work on your case. They shall gather evidence and formulate a plan for the trial. There will also be plea discussions that can come anytime throughout the process.
In the event that the prosecutor has determined that your case is difficult to prove, then they may offer a better plea deal. This includes reducing the felony charges to a misdemeanor. However, if there is strong evidence against you, then the prosecutor may refuse to offer any deal.
Evaluate the weaknesses and strengths of your case
Your defense attorney will analyze the elements of your case which the prosecutor are trying to prove. Also, your attorney will work on how it can make proving your case difficult for the prosecutor.
Your defense lawyer should have all pieces of evidences the prosecution can use to prove every detail against you. In addition, your lawyer must possess all details that will be difficult to prove before he/she enters into plea discussions.
Your defense attorney will contact the prosecution and negotiate a plea deal. Your attorney should prepare arguments and know the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Also, he/she should be able to point out to the prosecutor the weaknesses in the felony charges against you.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor will try to convince your attorney to accept the punishment and maximum charge while your attorney argues that the prosecutor’s case is implausible and weak.
Accepting a misdemeanor rather than a felony is usually a convenient middle ground for both parties.
If you have been charged with a felony, get the best felony lawyer to represent your case and guide you along the criminal proceedings. Likewise, he/she can help reduce the charges against you.
Leonard Wright understands that as a writer, one must be able to not just to inform readers of their topics, but to do it in an entertaining and interesting fashion. As such, his pieces as a contributor for Wirth Law Office are not just packed with information, but also injected with Leonard’s creative “flair.” If he’s not writing, he loves jogging during his free time.