Rockland County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Any allegation that brings a person to a criminal court is a serious matter. However, the potential consequences can differ greatly depending on the severity of the charges being brought. Criminal offenses in New York range from minor violations to first-degree felonies punishable by steep fines and decades in prison.
In virtually every case, it is important for someone accused of any crime to obtain qualified legal representation that will protect their rights and give them a better chance of a positive outcome in court. An experienced Rockland County criminal defense lawyer could help you face your criminal charges by working to examine every aspect of your case. Speak with a capable criminal defense attorney that could stand up in court for you and your best interests.
Levels of Crimes in Rockland County
There are three main levels of crime enumerated under the New York Penal Code, each of which may result in different punishments and trial procedures.
It is important to note that similar conduct can be punished differently depending on the severity of the accusation. A common example of this is assault. A simple assault is a class A misdemeanor, but if that assault resulted in serious bodily injury or involved the use of a weapon, the charge can be upgraded to a felony.
New York Penal Law §55.05 establishes six levels of felonies, ranging—in order of least to most severe—from Class E to Class A-1.
Typically, conviction for any offense considered to be a felony conviction can result in a jail sentence of more than one year, according to New York Penal Law §55.10-1a. Some felonies carry mandatory minimum sentences, but in general, the state of New York gives judges a fair amount of latitude in sentencing.
Felony cases are usually heard in the state Supreme Court but may also be tried in a County Court. New York’s Supreme Court is different from those in all other states in that it is a trial court that hears new cases, rather than the highest court in the state to which contested cases may advance. A Rockland County criminal defense lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that a person may face.
Most crimes that can result in up to, but no more than, one year in jail are considered misdemeanors. According to New York Penal Law §55.05, misdemeanors are grouped into one of three subclasses: Class A, Class B, and Unclassified crimes, with Class A misdemeanors being the most serious.
If convicted on Class A misdemeanor charges, a resident of Rockland County may face a fine of up to $1,000 in addition to any jail sentence of up to one year. Class B misdemeanors lower the maximum fine to $500 and the potential jail time to three months. Unclassified misdemeanors are a catch-all for when the level of crime is not described in the law. Here, a jail term can range from 15 days to one year.
Criminal violations are incidents that do not involve a traffic stop. Traffic issues are addressed separately under the purview of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. Violations can include failing to respond to a court summons, loitering, and harassment in the second-degree.
Talking to a Rockland County Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with any crime is cause for concern, as even low-level offenses can result in jail time in certain scenarios. Because of this, it is often extremely important for anyone facing criminal charges to obtain legal representation.
If you are facing criminal charges, consider contacting an experienced and aggressive Rockland County criminal defense lawyer at our firm. Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal in the hopes of avoiding jail time or to fight the charges at every opportunity up to the trial, we are available to help. Take a positive step towards protecting your future and schedule an initial consultation today.