Criminal Charges

All offenses handled in criminal court are “crimes.” Even most speeding tickets are technically misdemeanor offenses. However, most crimes that occur in or around a motor vehicle are treated differently than what most people consider “crimes.”

There are three categories of crimes: Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies. Infractions are very minor offenses usually only punishable by a small fine. Misdemeanors are the next class and cover property offenses, drug and alcohol offenses, and violent crimes. They are punishable by anything from a fine or unsupervised probation, up to 150 days in jail depending on the offense and prior convictions. In addition to the direct punishment, there are many possible collateral consequences such as license revocation, impact on future employment, and potentially sex offender registration. Unless absolutely sure about the impact of a conviction on your record, you should discuss any misdemeanor charges with a knowledgeable attorney.

Felonies are much more serious crimes. There are many types of felonies, and many potential punishments, up to and including life in jail or the death penalty. If you or someone you love are charged with a felony, contact us immediately to discuss your case.

Deferral Agreements

Based on your charge, you may be eligible for a Deferral Agreement, or deferred prosecution. Generally, these agreements require that you admit your guilt and agree to certain conditions, anything from performing community service to obtaining a Substance Abuse Assessment and complying with the recommended treatment. In exchange, the State agrees to dismissing or reducing your charges.

Some of these agreements are created by statute, and others are informal agreements with the District Attorney. Often times, the DA will only enter these agreements if he doesn’t have a strong case, or if there are circumstances that warrant leniency.

While sometimes a client is absolutely innocent and we will fight the charges at trial, Deferral Agreements are great opportunities to avoid a conviction if the State has a strong case against you or if the risk of trial is too great. Because of this, it is important you contact us as soon as possible so we have every opportunity to build a case for a Deferral Agreement.