Felony crimes are those that have been determined to be the most serious
by the legislature, and therefore carry harsher punishments. Convictions
are likely to lead to prison time, and in some cases, post-sentence punishments,
such as felony disenfranchisement (losing the right to vote). Additionally,
a felony charge on your criminal record can create obstacles when you
later attempt to seek employment, housing, professional licensure or certification,
or apply for educational financial aid, such as student loans.
If you have been charged with a felony, enlist the help of an established
Nassau County and Long Island criminal lawyer to guide you through the justice system and seek the best possible outcome
on your behalf.
Felonies Under New York Law
Although all felonies share the commonality of being considered the most
serious offenses by the New York legislature, the only other thing they
consistently have in common is that they involve severe punishments. Sentences
can start with imprisonment for a minimum of one year, and potentially
escalate to the death penalty in some states (crimes punishable by less
than a year are typically
misdemeanors, and sentences are served in a local jail rather than a state prison).
Otherwise, New York, like many states, has a classification system that
distinguishes between several kinds of felonies as follows:
Class A Felony -- The most serious classification, this is reserved for the most serious
crimes, including murder and treason. Life imprisonment is a typical punishment
following the abolishment of the death penalty in New York. Class A charges
are the least likely to be subject to reduction, and because of this,
cases can be more likely to go to trial.
Class B Felony -- One step below the most serious classification, this includes other
serious offenses, such as armed robbery, violent assault,
drug trafficking, and homicide. These charges are potentially more subject to being lowered
than Class A, depending upon the strength of legal representation. They
are punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Class C Felony -- Includes charges such as certain types of assault, theft, robbery,
larceny, and fraud. Punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Class D Felony -- Includes same class of serious offenses, but with somewhat lower manifestations
of malice than felonies of a higher classification. These include crimes
such as, theft, burglary, larceny, certain types of fraud, and some types
of manslaughter. Punishable by up to 7 years in prison.
Class E Felony -- These include crimes such as those that could be misdemeanors, but
have some additional factor that bumps them up to a felony. For example, a
DUI or DWI that results in damage to property or a structure may fall within this
category. Additional crimes include assault, theft, and aggravated harassment.
Punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Consequences of a Felony Conviction
As previously mentioned, a felony conviction could have consequences that
last long after any prison time or other punishment has been served. When
you are convicted of a felony under New York law, additional negative
outcomes can include:
- Felony disenfranchisement (losing right to vote)
- Inability to purchase or be in possession of fire arms
- Exclusion from jury service
- Exclusion from welfare
- Ineligibility for federally funded housing
- Ineligibility for certain operator licenses
- Inability to seek employment in certain fields, including law enforcement
In addition to these legal mandates, convicted felons may face additional
unwarranted discrimination in seeking housing, employment, and in other
areas of daily life. Hiring an attorney experienced in representing those
accused of felony crimes is the only way to ensure that you are taking
the steps to potentially keep you out of jail, or at least reduce the
amount of time spent there, and minimize the effect on the rest of your life.
Contact Our Nassau County Criminal Attorney
If you have been accused of a felony of any classification, regardless
of whether you have been formally charged or arrested, contact the experienced
Nassau County criminal lawyers at Jason M. Barbara & Associates, P.C. The guidance of an established
felony defense attorney can impact the classification of the felony you
may be charged with (and consequently punished for), and indeed, can affect
whether you are charged at all.