The immediate aftermath of an arrest for criminal charges can be overwhelming. You likely have multiple questions and concerns to address during this challenging time. Contacting a North Charleston criminal lawyer from the outset of your case could be the most effective way to address your concerns and defend yourself against felony or misdemeanor charges.
The negative consequences of a criminal conviction may include incarceration, fines, loss of driving privileges, and more. You may also end up with a criminal record that can adversely affect your future professional prospects. Avoiding as many unwanted effects as possible after receiving a charge could be made more attainable with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Criminal Charges in North Charleston
Criminal charges under state law cover a wide range of illegal behaviors. The severity of the charges and resulting penalties may vary significantly from one case to another. Some criminal charges are relatively rare, and others are exceedingly common in courts across the state, however, local legal representatives have practice with all types of cases.
Similar to most states, crimes constitute either misdemeanor or felony offenses. Misdemeanor crimes are lesser criminal offenses, but a conviction could still result in a jail sentence of up to three years in duration. Another potential penalty for a misdemeanor conviction may include owing thousands in fines and other sanctions, such as payments of restitution, community service hours, and mandatory counseling.
On the other hand, felony offenses are more serious crimes, many of which involve firearms, large amounts of drugs, and causing injury or death to others. Felony convictions can result in life prison sentences for the most egregious crimes, and even a death sentence for capital murder charges. State law further classifies felony crimes into six different classes based on the severity of the offense.
Common Types of Criminal Offenses: Misdemeanors vs. Felonies
Misdemeanor crimes are considered to be less severe and can be a minor offense such as theft charges, first-time DUIs, and conduct involving the possession of a small amount of illegal drugs. Minor domestic violence and some traffic offenses, such as reckless driving, also are common misdemeanor crimes. Generally, these smaller charges result when crimes do not involve serious harm to others and are committed by individuals without significant prior criminal histories.
Felony offenses include high-profile alcohol and drug-related crimes and incidents that result in bodily harm to others. Common felony crimes include drug trafficking, rape, robbery, and murder. Having the assistance of a criminal attorney in North Charleston could be essential to reaching a favorable outcome in felony criminal cases.
Penalties for Criminal Convictions
Jail or prison sentences, terms of probation, and payment of fines and court costs are all well-known repercussions of being convicted of a crime. However, criminal convictions are also likely to result in collateral consequences that individuals might not expect. These consequences can differ widely depending on the type of offense involved.
For example, DUI convictions typically involve a driver’s license suspension. The inability to drive, in turn, can affect an individual’s work life and ability to support their families. Furthermore, all felony convictions result in the loss of some civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms under federal law.
Criminal convictions that involve drugs or alcohol often require individuals to undergo assessments for substance abuse, counseling, and addiction treatments. People charged with these offenses are often subject to periodic drug tests by probation officers, which can lead to additional sanctions if they do not comply with the conditions.
Contact a North Charleston Criminal Attorney Today
When you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, you want the best possible outcome in your case. To achieve this goal, you must be aware of all available options and the consequences of each avenue. A North Charleston criminal lawyer could present your options for resolving criminal charges and help you choose the best one for your situation.
Criminal charges can have harsh implications for your future. Working with legal counsel may help you bypass some of these consequences and reach a more favorable result. By getting the legal advice you need, you could put this matter behind you in a more efficient manner. Call today to learn more.