In criminal law, the state or federal government brings charges against a person for committing an act that has been deemed a crime. In order to successfully convict an individual of a crime, the government needs to prove to a jury that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Individuals can be charged with a variety of crimes, including:
- Drug Crimes (possession, trafficking, cultivation, distribution, etc.)
- Sex Crimes (rape, molestation, assault, pornography crimes, prostitution, lewd conduct, indecent exposure, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, crimes against children.)
- Theft Crimes (embezzlement, petty theft, grand theft, grand theft auto, burglary, shoplifting, fraud)
- White Collar Crimes (fraud, embezzlement, extortion, counterfeiting, identity theft, forgery, money laundering, racketeering, cyber crimes, bribery, insider trading, pyramid schemes)
- Traffic Violations (DUI, DWI, vehicular manslaughter, hit & run)
- Murder (first degree, second degree)
- Violent crimes (domestic violence, aggravated assault, battery, hate crimes, weapons charges, armed robbery)
- Juvenile crimes
- Terrorist threats
When an individual commits a crime, he or she will be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense.
Felonies are serious criminal offenses that usually result in harsh legal penalties, including probation, steep monetary fines, no less than a year in state prison, and sometimes even the death penalty. Common types of felony crimes include arson, murder, kidnapping, grand theft, armed robbery, terrorist threats, rape, aggravated assault, treason, burglary, embezzlement, and certain drug crimes. When an individual is convicted of a felony, he/she may lose the right to certain privileges, such as the right to vote, buy and possess weapons, serve jury service, and hold certain professions.
Misdemeanors are less serious criminal offenses that usually result in monetary fines, probation, community service, and less than one year in county jail. Common types of misdemeanor crimes include DUI, petty theft, most traffic violations, simple assault, gambling, domestic violence, prostitution, trespassing, and probation violations. However, unlike felony convictions, when an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor, he/she does not lose the right to vote, possess weapons, serve jury duty, or work in most professions.
Contact our New York Criminal Defense Attorneys
Regardless of whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, it is important to contact a skilled New York criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime. Criminal convictions leave a mark on your permanent record, and may damage personal relationships or limit future professional opportunities. At Pena & Kahn, PLLC, our attorneys have successfully defended hundreds of clients throughout New York. Our attorneys are well-versed in criminal defense, and have helped our clients avoid jail, probation, and other legal penalties. At our firm, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights, and providing them with compassionate legal care, aggressive negotiation, and personalized attention.
If you need experienced and professional legal representation in New York, contact our criminal defense attorneys at Pena & Kahn today for your free case evaluation at (718) 585-6551.