A felony is defined as a violent crime. Felonies are generally more serious than misdemeanors, and can carry harsher penalties. The penalties for a felony conviction may include high fines, as well as a prison sentence. A felony conviction can also have life-altering effects on a person; it can impact every aspect of the person’s life from obtaining housing to getting a job, and even have an impact on child custody matters.
Do Convicted Felons Lose Any Rights?
If an individual is convicted of a felony, they may also lose many of the rights that a typical United States citizen may enjoy. Some rights convicted felons can lose include:
- The right to participate as a juror;
- The right to purchase and bear arms; and
- The right to vote.
Convicted felons may also become ineligible for:
- Welfare or other government benefits;
- Federally subsidized housing;
- Federal student loans;
- Some professional licenses; and/or
- Revocation of certain professional licenses.
Categories of Felonies in New York
In New York, felonies are divided into five separate categories. They include Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E. Each category is also split into violent and non-violent offenses. Felony charges all have maximum sentences associated with them, which can range from four years in prison, and as much as life without parole. In addition to a prison sentence, a defendant may also be responsible to pay hefty fines for the felony he or she committed.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you have been charged with a felony, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Felony charges carry extremely serious penalties, and a subsequent conviction can change your life forever. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess the facts of your case and help you understand your rights.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.