When felony attorneys discuss cases with their clients, they have to set aside some time to discuss the possible outcomes. By definition, felony cases are serious, as they carry years of prison time and the possibility of heightened penalties. It's important to understand the range of possibilities, and felony lawyers will tell you to be aware of these four.
Conviction at Trial
Ideally, you don't want to face this scenario. However, you should be prepared for the possibility the matter goes to trial and leads to a conviction. If that happens, you'll face, at a minimum, more than a year of jail time. Your only option for averting prison time will be to file an appeal and request release pending the appeal.
Some felony convictions carry additional penalties that go past imprisonment. If someone is convicted of a financial crime, they may be stripped of trading rights or the opportunity to serve in positions of trust. People convicted of violent crimes may lose their rights to firearms. A sexual offense conviction might place a person on a registered offender list and create problems with seeking employment or housing in post-prison life.
Plea Bargain and a Reduced Sentence
One of the main arguments for bringing in felony attorneys is to try to avoid the previous two outcomes. If you can bargain a case down to a misdemeanor, you might face less prison time or avoid it altogether. Similarly, you might avoid the loss of certain rights.
Felony lawyers can't guarantee that any sort of bargain will be available. If a prosecutor decides they want to push for a trial and a conviction, that's their right.
However, if the prosecution offers a plea agreement, felony lawyers must share the details with their clients. Ultimately, the choice of whether to accept a deal rests with the client. An attorney can advise a client whether or not they believe the agreement is a good idea, though.
Dismissal of the Case
Your lawyer will likely ask the court to dismiss the case at an early stage. While judges aren't quick to dismiss most cases, it's worth a shot. If an attorney can expose a flaw in the prosecution's case, it may provide grounds to dismiss some or all of the charges.
Defendants also have the opportunity to move for dismissal at later times. If your felony lawyers find something wrong with key pieces of evidence during the discovery process, for example, they can once more request a dismissal.
For more information, contact a felony lawyer in your area.