In Massachusetts, crimes are categorized as either felonies or misdemeanors. The classification of a crime is the responsibility of the legislature. These decisions are usually based on three factors:
- Impact On The Victim(s)
- Impact On The Community
- Seriousness Of The Crime
Misdemeanors are less serious and felonies are offenses that are more serious. If you are charged, you are going to need an experienced defense attorney or lawyer to represent you and your case in a court of law.
What Is The Difference Between a Misdemeanor & Felony In Massachusetts?
A misdemeanor is an offense which does not carry the possibility of incarceration in a state prison. A felony is an offense for which the offender can be sent to state prison. Misdemeanors can result in sentences to country jail or a house of correction for a maximum period of 2½ years. A felony can result in incarceration in a state prison. Another key difference to be aware of is the consequences that felonies carry compared to those of misdemeanors.
If you are convicted of a felony, the following consequences could result:
• You may get denied naturalization and get deported.
• You may have to submit a sample of your DNA to the state.
• You will have a difficult time finding a job (some jobs will conduct background checks).
• You won’t be able to carry a firearm and get licensed to do so.
• You won’t be allowed to visit someone who is incarcerated in a house of correction or jail.
• You would be prohibited from entering the US military.
After your conviction, your punishment will be decided at your sentencing hearing. At that time, you could be sentenced to jail or prison, be assessed a fine, or both.
The Importance Of Having A Criminal Defense Firm On Your Side
The value of being represented by a qualified attorney or lawyer in a court of law cannot be over-stated where the criminal defense of a felony or misdemeanor is concerned. Felony convictions are permanent. More importantly, if you get convicted of another felony in the future, you may receive a harsher punishment when the new case goes to court. As was mentioned above, you are going to have a difficult time finding a job and a place to rent once you are a convicted felon.
In addition to representing you in a court of law, your attorney will be able to determine whether or not there is a chance your charges could be dismissed. He or she can also explore plea options that might exist in order to get your charges reduced.
The bottom line is that you are going to need someone in your corner who is familiar with Massachusetts criminal law. You will need someone who has the expertise regarding your particular case and how to defend such a case in court. When it comes to negotiations, having the right attorney or lawyer on your side can improve your chances for a more favorable outcome. He or she will take everything into consideration regarding your case as well as assist you in the decision-making process and protect your rights.
One of the most difficult aspects of being convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or having a loved one in that situation, is the selection of an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. If you have been convicted of a crime, especially one that will result in having a permanent criminal record, you need the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows what they are doing.