Felonies are defined as more serious crimes than misdemeanors and therefore result in much more serious penalties. If you are convicted of a felony, your punishment will consist of more than one year in prison on top of a heavy fine. For the most serious felony offenses, if convicted you may spend your life in prison or even face the death penalty. For these reasons, if you have been charged with a felony, it is imperative that you find yourself a knowledgeable felony defense attorney as quickly as possible.
In New York, you will do well to contact BarketEpstein, LLP. With offices in Manhattan, Garden City, and Huntington, our felony defense law practice is well-situated to serve clients in the greater New York City metropolitan area and throughout Long Island. We have an outstanding track record of success and have handled a number of high profile cases. Our sharp felony defense attorneys have a wide range of legal tactics to use in your defense. Once we have examined the details of your case, we will come up with the appropriate strategy to extricate you from your legal difficulties. You can trust us to fight vigorously for your freedom and to always be on your side.
What’s at Stake When You’re Arrested on a Felony Charge?
You have every reason to be worried if you’ve been arrested on a felony charge. You may not only be facing exorbitant fines and a lengthy period of incarceration, you may also lose many of the rights and privileges of being an American citizen, such as:
- The right to vote (“felony disenfranchisement”) while incarcerated or on parole
- The right to own or possess firearms
- The ability to collect welfare
- The right to live in federally funded housing
- The right to obtain federally funded educational loans
- The right to obtain certain licenses
- The right to become a police officer or a firefighter or work in some other government jobs
Since it is not illegal for potential employers to ask you about pending felony charges or prior felony convictions, your ability to be gainfully employed may also be adversely affected. Having a felony conviction may also make it more difficult to find a suitable apartment or even to open a bank account.
Your felony conviction can be reported under the The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) for seven years. Under a new law, passed in July of 2018, however, if your conviction is at least 10 years old and you have not had another felony conviction since, you can apply to have your record sealed.
How Barket Epstein, LLP Can Help
No matter what the circumstances of your arrest, our team will represent you under the overriding principle that you are “innocent until proven guilty.” Because we know the terrain of felony convictions intimately, we always keep in mind that the prosecution must prove your guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There are very few facts that we truly “know” with absolute certainty and judges and juries are no different. Our attorneys are well-positioned to insert a wedge of doubt into the smallest crevice in order to protect your freedom.
Classes of Felonies in New York
Felonies are categorized by their severity, a Class A felony being the worst. According to the class of felony you are charged with, the punishments will vary. Nonetheless, even with a Class E felony charge, you need a skilled felony defense attorney from Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco to help you navigate the judicial system. Felonies should always be taken seriously, both in terms of their immediate consequences and in terms of their potential impact on your future.
Class A felony
Class A, the highest degree of felony, is reserved for crimes considered the most abominable: treason or murder. While in some states, you might face the death penalty for a Class A felony, in New York, where the death penalty was abolished in 2007, the worst punishment you can receive is a life sentence without possibility of parole.
Class B felony
A step below Class A felonies, Class B felonies include manslaughter, armed robbery, rape, drug trafficking, and violent assault. One thing to remember when you are facing a felony charge is that astute felony defense attorneys may often be able to have your charges reduced or even dismissed in the course of you legal defense.
Class C felony
Examples of Class C felonies are certain types of assault, theft, fraud, robbery, drug distribution, and larceny. The lower the felony charge is, the more room there is for one of our savvy attorneys to negotiate a plea bargain and the more likely you are to end up with conviction on a lesser charge carrying fewer penalties. It is also, of course, possible that we can get your charges dismissed altogether.
Class D felony
As noted, the lower the class of felony you are accused of, the more likely we are to be able to successfully negotiate with prosecutors. With class D felonies — involving lesser types of fraud, theft, robbery, burglary or manslaughter — the punishment will usually be less than 5 years of jail time. We have a good chance, however, of having your charges reduced to a Class E felony, a misdemeanor, or even entirely dismissed.
Class E felony
The punishment for a Class E felony in New York is typically 2 to 5 years in jail, depending on the particulars of the case. Class E felonies in New York include DWI or DUI offenses that have resulted in personal injury or property damage, and forcible touching, or aggravated harassment.
No matter what class of felony you are being charged with, our legal representation can level the playing field for you as you fight for your civil rights. Our detailed knowledge of the law and the intricate workings of the judicial system will be invaluable in protecting you from prosecution and potential conviction.
It is usually best to “plead the fifth” if you find yourself in custody, and insist on your right to speak with your lawyer. This way, you avoid incriminating yourself. Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving you are responsible for the crime the government has charged you with. You are entitled to the presumption of your innocence unless the prosecution can prove otherwise. As long as our felony defense attorneys are able to keep a modicum of doubt in the minds of those deciding your fate, you remain in the clear.
Some of the felony defenses BarketEpstein has used to successfully defend their clients are:
If we can prove that you were not at the location at the time the crime occurred, we can prove your innocence since nobody can be two places at once. Reliable witnesses or irrefutable evidence (a recorded visit to an Emergency Room that required ID, a picture of you taken by a red-light camera at a particular time) will be convincing evidence that you are not be the guilty party.
If we can prove to the court that you were defending yourself (or your child, or your pet) from attack, you will be found innocent of assault and/or battery charges. This is often not as easy as it seems. The judge or jury may believe that you were, if fact, feeling threatened or endangered, but we must also convince them that you were reacting appropriately to the perceived threat. If you shot someone who was verbally abusive and threatening, for example, your response will be considered beyond the pale. On the other hand, if you punched a person who was coming at you with a knife, you are very likely to have all charges dismissed.
Although not commonly used, an insanity defense can, in certain circumstances, be reasonably applied. To be considered “insane,” an individual must be determined to be unable to distinguish right from wrong. If, for example, you suffer from PTSD and assault someone you perceive to be an enemy on the battlefield, in your mind you are not doing anything wrong. As a matter of fact, you may believe that you are behaving heroically. It goes without saying that someone can attempt to fraudulently misuse this type of defense, which is why an insanity defense has to be backed up by examinations by experienced psychiatrists. Furthermore, if you (the defendant) are found not guilty by reason of insanity, you will be confined to a psychiatric facility for a long time.
Under the Influence Defense
Another defense related to the insanity defense is that the defendant claims being under the influence of drugs at the time the offense was committed and so didn’t have the mental awareness to have “intent” to commit the crime. This defense is rarely used, and even more rarely successful, since, in almost all cases, the defendant put him or herself under the influence of drugs voluntarily. When successful, however, this defense usually may have the positive effect of allowing the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser offense.
When an entrapment defense is used, the claim is made that law enforcement officials induced the defendant to commit the crime (commonly criminal solicitation or drug sales). If a government agency has set up a “sting,” or if a police officer has spontaneously offered you money for drugs or sex, this may be considered entrapment. In some cases, if the court is convinced that you would not have committed the crime without being set up by law enforcement, we may be able to get you a full acquittal.
Contact Our New York Felony Defense Attorney
We can sometimes truthfully claim that you were forced into committing the crime through threats of bodily harm to yourself or members of your family. If another person has a gun to your back and insists that you rob a car or a bank, you cannot be considered at fault for following the terrifying directions.
As you can imagine, any and all of these defenses must be used with caution and finesse. If you have been arrested for a felony, you need a highly competent and agile felony defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to call our offices promptly before your situation worsens. The moment BarketEpstein takes you case, the prosecution is likely to be more cooperative because of our courtroom clout. You can reach us by phone, email or by filling out a contact form on our website.