Felony charges are the most serious charges an accused individual can face. They can result in significant prison time and steep fines in some circumstances. If you have been charged with a felony, it is important to know what the charges are and what to do in those circumstances.
A felony charge can be distinguished from a misdemeanor charge by the nature of the potential punishment the accused individual faces. Felony charges are punished by a year or greater in prison, whereas misdemeanor charges can be punished by a year or less in jail. In general, at common law, felony charges were considered crimes of moral turpitude.
Examples of felony charges include rape, murder, arson and other charges as well. A felony charge is commonly defined by statute so it is important to know what is considered a felony in the state where the accused individual is being charged and the elements of the crime they have been charged with. Preparing a strong criminal defense to respond to the charges you are facing should be high on the list of any individual who has been accused of a crime, including felony crimes.
A criminal defense response may focus on what is referred to as an affirmative defense or it may focus on challenging the conduct of police if they failed to follow procedures to protect the rights of the accused individual, and violated those rights, or the facts as asserted by authorities. There are many options to both fight or mitigate the charges and potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing which is why you should be familiar with your criminal defense rights and protections if you are facing a felony charge.