When it comes to your criminal record, it is important to know the difference between an infraction, a felony charge, and a misdemeanor charge. This is because infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies all come with different levels of consequences. Infractions are the least severe, with misdemeanors coming in second, and felony convictions being the most severe. Consequences between these levels of offenses can range from community service or a fine all the way to life imprisonment.
When you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, you have someone on your side advocating to minimize the punishment your receive for your charge. In some cases this means reducing your jail sentence or avoiding jail time entirely.
Criminal defense lawyer Lanease D. Fuller is on your side. She believes criminal justice means more than just punishing anyone who gets charged with a crime. This is why she will fight for justice in your case, ensuring you are getting a fair case.
Misdemeanors are generally considered less serious crimes. Common examples include minor thefts, certain traffic offenses (like DUI or driving on a suspended license), and many minor drug offenses. Some states include different classes of misdemeanor, with more serious misdemeanors being first degree, and less serious being second and third degree. Misdemeanors are usually punishable by substantial fines and sometimes jail time, usually less than one year. Of course, multiple misdemeanor charges can be brought simultaneously and sentences can be structured to run consecutively (rather than concurrently) meaning that when one sentence ends the next one begins. In that way, multiple misdemeanor charges can equate to years in jail, so it is important to understand just how serious even a misdemeanor can be.
Any jail term would most likely be served in a local or county jail, rather than a state or federal correctional institution. This can be a mixed blessing. While the inmate may be closer to family and friends, many will tell you that life in jail is less structured, more chaotic, and more brutal than time in prison.
While some misdemeanor proceedings may be expedited, generally the process is like any other trial. A defendant does have a right to an attorney, and one is appointed if the defendant cannot afford one, or the defendant can choose to represent himself, though that is highly unrecommended and the court will likely try to change the defendant’s mind. Jury trials can be available, depending upon the type of misdemeanor alleged, though it is often a smaller jury (frequently just 6 members) as opposed to the familiar 12 member jury seen in TV shows and movies.
Felonies are the most serious type of crime and are usually classified by degrees, with a first degree felony being the most serious. Examples of felonies include murder, aggravated or grand theft, rape, etc. Many states require that a prosecutor obtain an indictment from a grand jury before charging someone with a felony, but this is not always required. Felonies are punishable by substantial fines and prison sentences in excess of one year or possibly even death.
If convicted of a felony, an inmate will most likely serve their sentence in a state or federal correctional institution, more commonly referred to as a prison or penitentiary. Often, inmates may be transferred from one prison to another to accommodate the needs of the correctional system in which they are serving their time, so they may spend time far from home.
Those accused of felonies will be entitled to a trial by jury. The court must provide an accused person with an attorney if he or she cannot afford one. Many felony trials may also include smaller juries, but some more serious crimes, particularly where life in prison or the death penalty are possible sentences, will often have juries of 12 and possibly even more if alternate jurors (or jurors who can fill in should one of the primary jurors fall ill or become disqualified) are used.
Conviction of a felony brings with it more disadvantages than just higher fines and longer jail time. In some states, persons convicted of felonies cannot serve on juries, or purchase or possess firearms and may not be employed in certain professions, such as law, teaching, or the military.
We Fight for Your Freedom
Being charged with a misdemeanor or felony is never an easy position to be in. You may be unsure how to navigate your case or which choices you make that can negatively influence the outcome of your case. A popular Houston defense attorney like Lanease D. Fuller can make a huge difference in your case.
Working with an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney provides you with helpful insight and advice for what to do to get your charges lessened or in some situations even get your case dismissed. Attorney Fuller does more than just provide legal advice, she advocates for your best interest every step of the way.
If you have a case that she believes in, she will not back down. As a trial lawyer she is comfortable representing you for a wide range of criminal charges including sex crimes, drug offenses, family violence, theft, DUIs, and more.
Attorney Fuller understands the system and does everything in her power to help you get your charges lowered or dropped. Don’t get left with a permanent criminal record just because you were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Instead, contact our team today.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Houston Area
Attorney Fuller is a seasoned attorney with nearly three decades of experience representing a wide range of clients. This includes individuals who have suffered an injury due to another’s actions, individuals facing criminal charges, those who have been arrested for DWI, individuals who have found themselves in a civil litigation dispute, and those looking for legal guidance in business
After filling out a client intake form, Attorney Lanease D. Fuller will take appropriate action in your case to help you get the results you are looking for. This includes but not limited to gathering evidence, going to trial, and earning a settlement that is appropriate for your specific situation. Reach out to us today to take the first step towards settling your case.
LANEASE D. FULLER LAW
4615 S. Frwy St. 820
Houston, TX 77051
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