If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, you probably have a lot of questions about the criminal defense process. This article will answer many common questions regarding criminal defense.
Under criminal defense law, there are two classifications of crimes: Felonies and misdemeanors.
A felony is a serious crime against either people or property that often is punishable by at least a year in prison. Examples of felonies include:
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that often is punishable by less than a year in jail. Examples of misdemeanors include:
Those placed under arrest retain a set of rights known as Miranda rights. These rights include:
You have the right to challenge the weight and sufficiency of the evidence brought against you by the prosecutor, the party in charge of convincing the court you are guilty of the charges against you. These challenges are referred to as your criminal defense.
Criminal defenses usually either attempt to accomplish one of two things. The first is to refute the evidence against you as incorrect or untrue. The second is to admit to the factual allegations but to create a legitimate excuse for your conduct. This latter strategy is known as an affirmative defense.
A plea agreement, also known as a plea bargain, is an arrangement that you and your attorney make with the prosecution where you admit guilt to lesser charges in order to receive a lighter sentence. Not all cases are eligible for plea agreements. Discuss the facts of your case with a criminal defense lawyer for further information.