What is the difference between felonies and misdemeanors
Felonies and misdemeanors are the primary focus of the Griffin Law Firm, in New Haven. Less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors, while more serious crimes are classified as felonies. The difference between the two categories is not always clear, but there is a difference in the minimum penalties for each category.
The penalty for misdemeanors typically involve a fine and less than one year in prison. However, the penalty for felonies include fines along with prison terms of up to five years, or more, depending on the severity of the crime, and in the case of murder, life in prison.
Every defendant is guaranteed a fair trial according to the U.S. Constitution and is not considered guilty until the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the person actually committed the crime. The prosecution must also show that the charges against the defendant constitute all the elements of the type of crime for which he or she is charged. The fact that an aggressive prosecutor has classified a crime as a felony when in fact it should be classified a serious misdemeanor, will impact the penalty that is levied on the defendant should they be found guilty.
Unfortunately, criminal convictions can have an adverse impact on a person’s life long after one has served their time and have been released. Convictions for some crimes will have an impact on a person’s employment potential and where they can live.
Anyone charged with a criminal offense should retain an attorney. Criminal trials involve too many technical nuances regarding evidence, the admissibility of evidence, the elements of the charges, and the sufficiency of the evidence to support those elements. Even attorneys hire attorneys to represent them in court.
“He who represents himself, has a fool for a client,” is an old saying, but so true. Dealing objectively with all the rules and legal issues of the trial while at the same time dealing with the emotional stress of a potential guilty conviction is more than anyone can handle.
If you, or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense, call the Griffin Law Firm at 203-553-3653 immediately. The initial consultation is free.