Criminal Law and Criminal Defense
If you are reading this, it is likely you are in need of a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense. The actions you take in the initial stages of an investigation or arrest can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you receive guidance, not from a general lawyer, but one who is experienced and skilled in the area of Criminal Law. The Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. holds an impressive succes rate in Criminal Defense cases.
Our judicial system can be overwhelming and frightening. Jail sentences are getting significantly longer and more people who are accused of crimes are going to jail more frequently. If you are facing a criminal charge, you are competing against experienced prosecutors, police, detectives, investigators, and a massive amount of other government resources. The odds against a defendant are overwhelming when compared to the strength and financial ability of the state.
If you are facing the possibility of being accused or convicted of a crime, you need to contact our firm as early in the process as possible. You need to be aware of your constitutional rights and how to protect yourself.
Whether you are dealing with the Federal Court or State Court, our criminal justice system is complex in both substance and procedure. Each state has its own rules of procedure that dictate the methods, behavior, and processes of the Courts, judges, lawyers, prosecutors and police. On occasion, these processes change.
Constitutionally, all people in the U.S. are afforded “Due Process” of law. The due process clause guarantees us certain protections in relation to the procedures the government will use to charge and prosecute a defendant. Among these rights are the right to reasonable notice of proceedings, a right to a fair and impartial jury, the right to a reasonable bail, the right to competent counsel and the right to confront the witnesses who testify against you.
In regards to misdemeanors, most states will consider maximum possible punishment, which involves incarceration for one year or less. In other jurisdictions, a misdemeanor is defined as a crime punishable only by fine or by incarceration in a jail. Additionally, some states have different classes of misdemeanors. For example, “petty offenses” are considered as a lower grade misdemeanor because they are punishable by six months or less in jail. Some of the misdemeanor crimes have a maximum penalty of up to 90 days in jail, while higher grade felonies have a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail.
Whether you have committed a serious crime or a misdemeanor you can never neglect the serious long-term consequences of a guilty conviction. You could lose your license, your job, be unable to secure employment, have a public record, lose federal or state financial aid, pay substantial fines, and even lose the ability to qualify for governmental housing.
Additionally, you may be forced to forfeit property or a vehicle if the court determines that it was used in the commission of a violation or the benefit of alleged criminal activity. There is no federal right to a grand jury for a misdemeanor and the Court procedures may be more relaxed than those for felonies.
Federal law and most state laws define a felony as a crime that is punishable by imprisonment of more than one year. Other states define a felony as a crime that is punishable by death or a prison sentence served in a state penitentiary.
Typically, the most serious crimes, such as racketeering, weapons charges, crimes of force or violence, drug distribution, or large financial crimes are classified as felonies. Some states also break down the class of felonies to higher and lower felonies. For example, some states consider a 4th degree felony a crime that is punishable by 3 years or less incarceration, a third degree felony punishable by up to five years incarceration, a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 10 years incarceration. 1st degree or Class 1 felonies are punishable by up to 20 years or more. Examples of higher level felonies include murder, rape, arson, burglary and kidnapping and large scale drug distribution charges.
The consequences of a felony conviction may include the loss of the right to vote; ineligibility to obtain a professional license (such as a realtor, beautician, CPA, securities broker and even an attorney); restrictions on the right to possess weapons; ineligibility for housing, public benefits, educational financial aid benefits; immigration issues, and loss of parental rights. A conviction may also require the accused to register with certain criminal registries, such as sex offender registries or drug offender registries that are published and reported to the community where you reside.
A limited number of crimes, such as murder, can be punished by the death penalty and are often referred to as capital offenses. As with all felony cases the defendant will always have the right to a jury trial, but because of the severe nature of the offense, it is extremely important that you have an attorney who is ready and able to represent you in court if you have been charged with a felony. Your life is about to take a very serious turn and only a well seasoned and skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to properly represent you and protect your rights.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, or if you think you may be under investigation for a crime.
Please contact the Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. for a case evaluation and to schedule an appointment.
Areas of Practice
The Law Offices of Douglas C. Anton, Esq. offers clients his wealth of legal experience, advice, and representation in a wide variety of areas, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Criminal Defense
- Entertainment Law
- Sports Law
- Civil Law
- Family Law
- Corporate Counsel
- Immigration Law
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