A felony conviction is the most serious criminal offense in Pennsylvania and can lead to serious, lifelong consequences. Lengthy prison sentences and large fines often go along with felony convictions, especially when a defendant is charged with more than one crime. Being charged with a felony is frightening, but charges are nothing more than charges, unless they become convictions.
Beaver County felony charges attorneys know that prosecutors often start with the most serious conceivable charges against defendants, even when less serious charges would be more appropriate. Prosecutors often want to throw the proverbial book at defendants in order to scare them and put the prosecution in a position of power for plea negotiations. Experienced felony charges attorneys know this and other prosecutorial tactics and will be prepared to defend their clients and build a case for reduced charges, case dismissal, or a not guilty verdict.
Felony conviction consequences
For other crimes, once prison sentences are served, fines are paid, and probation is satisfied, people look forward to moving on with their lives. For those who have felony convictions it may feel like their sentences are never truly served because it is hard to move on from a felony conviction. Long term felony conviction consequences may include the following:
- Professional licenses such as a physician or chiropractor may be in jeopardy depending on the type of felony conviction.
- Voting rights may be compromised and varies depending on your state of residence. Convicted felons in Pennsylvania may not vote until after they have served their prison sentence.
- Depending on the type of felony, you may lose your right to own firearms.
- The right to hold public office may also be affected by a felony conviction.
- Difficulty getting a bank loan due to a felony conviction.
- Some convictions may require sex offender registration if the crime is related to sex.
- College prospects may be limited.
Felony charges attorney
Only an experienced criminal attorney should be entrusted to handle felony cases. These attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to navigate the court process and negotiate with prosecutors with the goal of securing the best possible outcome for the defendant. After thoroughly investigating the case facts, evidence, police reports, and witness statements, attorneys will be in a position to develop one or several defense strategies.
Sometimes defense attorneys will seek to reduce the charges from a felony to misdemeanor or summary charges and will also advocate for any available diversion programs to avoid a criminal record. A good attorney may be able to adeptly negotiate with prosecutors for a fair plea deal. In other cases, defense attorneys may look to dismiss the case entirely for different reasons such as lack of evidence needed to convict the defendant or because the defendant’s rights were violated making the prosecution’s evidence inadmissible. Illegally obtained evidence can be the result of a number of violations such as Miranda violations, coerced confessions, or illegal searches.