What Are The Differences Between Misdemeanors And Felonies?


Felonies generally are crimes for which the punishment is more than a year and such crimes, generally speaking, carry more collateral consequences. For instance, you lose your right to vote and probably a right to carry a gun. If you’re not an American citizen, you could have deportation issues for a felony, whereas for misdemeanors, a lot of times those consequences won’t kick in; also, misdemeanors generally have less than a year in jail as a penalty.

Is There a Look-Back Period For Which a Second Offense is Considered to Be a First Offense Again?

Yes, that happens all the time, in which we see a new crime and have it treated as a first time; it happens quite a bit in DUI, as well as drug trafficking. You don’t want a second conviction for trafficking drugs because the penalties are really harsh, and often we can get the second crime treated as a first. There is no specific period when that happens; it can happen years or months apart and we can have the second crime treated as a first.

How Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play After a Traffic Stop?

Police are very well versed with Miranda rights and how they operate in this jurisdiction; usually they will come into play for felony charges. I don’t see them often for misdemeanors, but what happens is, the police all have a card with them and once you’re arrested, they automatically read your Miranda rights, advising you not to talk and advise you that what you say will be used against you. The answer to your question is, Miranda rights always kick in after you’re arrested and police, as a matter of course, will read you your Miranda rights.

What Can People Do to Return to Normalcy After the Resolution of a Criminal Case?

The best thing to do depends on whether or not they are acquitted; if they are acquitted or we get the charges dismissed, they can get their life back on track pretty easily, but if they are found guilty and they don’t do the jail time, they will be on probation, so we generally tell them to comply with probation and if they are eligible for an early discharge, they can get their life back on track. In this jurisdiction, a lot of people do manage to get on track, but you also have a great number who violate their probation and are unable to get their life back on track. The big thing is to not get into trouble again.

Can You Share Examples of Cases that You Have Successfully Defended?

I’ve defended hundreds of cases and it’s difficult to draw on any one that kind of sticks out too much, but there is a lot of gratification when you go trial and get an acquittal, which I’ve done quite often. I have gotten “not guilty” a lot, and I do remember one ‘not guilty’ for which the guy was convinced he would be convicted and wanted to go to trial, but during the trial, things go up and down, and when the trial was over, he was upset and said he wanted another attorney. I told him he couldn’t have one and to wait for the jury to come back, and when they did come back, sure enough they found him not guilty, which meant he was off the hook, a free person, and he just took off without a word.

What is the Best Way to Contact You for Setting Up an Initial Consultation?

We have phones here; I have a business cellphone and I’m available on that all the time, unless I’m in court, so if I’m not picking up my cellphone, they should call the office and set up an appointment with the ladies here in the office. Also, there’s the website, or you can email me and we’ll get back to you.

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