Should You Hire a Felony Attorney?
Felony lawyers are attorneys who work on the highest forms of criminal cases. These usually involve charges that carry significant jail time. Likewise, some felonies may carry post-incarceration penalties such as being put on a list or prohibited from certain activities.
Not all cases call for felony attorneys, though. Here are three reasons why you might need to hire a felony attorney.
A Large Set of Charges
Generally, non-felony cases tend to involve a couple of charges at most. If you start to see charges stacking up, there is a good chance you might have a felony case.
Note that some prosecutors will start with only a few charges. This is particularly so when they want to detain a person right away and then build a bigger case. If it feels like the prosecution is still digging, you may need to speak with some felony lawyers, even if the current list of charges does not include any felonies.
Potential for Additional Penalties
While people tend to focus on jail time as the biggest penalty, there may be other consequences. Individuals convicted of sex crimes, for example, may have to register on a list of known offenders. Felony attorneys often try to help their clients plead such cases down to misdemeanor charges to avoid these sorts of add-on penalties.
Additional penalties cover a wide range of concerns. Some violent felony convictions may lead to prohibitions on gun ownership. Fraud convictions sometimes carry limitations on working in a position of public trust. In other words, the potential penalties attached to some kinds of cases may be more life-altering than the prison time for a conviction.
Another class of charges that can tip into the felony domain is anything with aggravating circumstances. For example, hate crimes charges tend to fit in this category. Allegations involving harm to children, elderly people, or highly vulnerable people like the disabled may also count as aggravated.
Once more, a prosecutor might start small and work their way up so don't assume you are in the clear if the case doesn't start at the felony level. If there is a risk these sorts of aggravating circumstances might be invoked in a case, it's best to start out talking with felony lawyers rather than trying to find one when the prosecution upgrades the charges. When in doubt, always assume the prosecution will come after you for the maximum.