Felony Charges Defense Lawyers in Westchester County
What Are the Felony Classes in NY?
All felonies range in classification from "A" to "E," with the "A" crimes being the most serious. The following felony class chart is a general sentence classification that does not account for prior criminal histories. If you already have prior felony convictions, the below sentences would generally be treated with an increased minimum and maximum sentence.
- Class A Violent Felony - 20 to 25 years or life in prison
- Class B Violent Felony - 5 to 25 years in prison
- Class B Non-Violent Felony - A minimum of 1 to 3 years and a maximum of 25 years in prison
- Class C Violent Felony - 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison
- Class C Non-Violent Felony - Probation for a minimum of 1 to 2 years and a maximum of 15 years
- Class D Violent Felony - 2 to 7 years in prison
- Class D Non-Violent Felony - Probation for a minimum of 1 to 3 and a maximum of 7 years
- Class E Violent Felony - Probation for 11/2 to 4 years
- Class E Non-Violent Felony - Probation for 1 ⅓ to 4 years
Examples of Felonies in New York
The New York Penal Law defines several types of prohibited conduct that would be classified as felonies.
A few examples include the following:
- First-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance: Having 8 ounces or more of a narcotic drug is a class A-I felony.
First-degree robbery: Robbery is defined as committing theft by force to prevent resistance or
It’s a first-degree offense when during or while fleeing from the
crime, the actor:
- Causes serious physical injury to a non-participant,
- Has a deadly weapon,
- Uses or threatens to use a dangerous instrument, or
- Displays a firearm.
- The offense is a class B felony.
- Fifth-degree insurance fraud: With the intent to defraud, knowingly providing false information or concealing misleading details on an insurance claim and obtaining property worth more than $50,000. The offense is a class C felony.
- First-degree patronizing a person for prostitution: Paying, agreeing to pay, or soliciting another to engage in sexual conduct when the person patronized is under 11 years of age or, if the actor is 18 years of age or older, the person patronized is under 13 years of age. The crime is charged as a class D felony.
- Second-degree obscenity: Promoting, possessing, or producing obscene material when the alleged actor has a previous conviction for third-degree obscenity. The offense is a class E felony.
Regardless of the act you have been accused of, you have the right to fight your charge. At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, our team helps clients with all types of felony matters.
The Steps in a NY Felony Prosecution
Anyone accused of a felony-level offense will go through New York’s criminal justice process, which involves several stages. Each case is unique and may follow a slightly different path than others.
That said, the general steps in a felony prosecution include the following:
- Report of a crime: Generally, the victim or a witness will report the alleged offense to a law enforcement agency. In some cases, police officers might observe the conduct themselves.
- Investigation: Law enforcement officials will talk to witnesses and victims to get more information. They will also collect evidence. They aim to identify a suspect.
- Arrest: If law enforcement officials have probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and a certain person committed it, they will take that individual into custody.
- District Attorney’s Office review: Law enforcement officials will send their crime report to the District Attorney’s Office. An Assistant District Attorney will look it over to determine whether enough evidence exists to pursue the case.
- Arraignment: A judge will read the charges against the defendant and inform them of their rights. The defendant may be asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
- Grand jury: The ADA will present evidence to a Grand Jury. The grand jury will decide whether there’s sufficient evidence for the case to go to trial.
- Arraignment on indictment: If the Grand Jury determines enough evidence exists, an indictment will be issued. At the arraignment, the defendant will be asked for a plea.
- Pre-trial: The prosecutor and defense counsel will exchange information they have about the case. They may also file pre-trial motions. The prosecutor and defense could resolve the matter outside the courtroom through a plea deal.
- Trial: The prosecutor and defense will present evidence before a judge or jury, who decides whether the defendant is guilty. A trial can end in a conviction or acquittal.
- Sentencing: If the defendant pleads or is found guilty, they will be sentenced. Possible penalties include, but are not limited to, imprisonment, probation, and/or fines. The judge will use their discretion to determine the sentence to impose. They will consider various factors, such as the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
Our Westchester County felony attorneys have an in-depth understanding of the justice process. Two of our team members are former Assistant District Attorneys with the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. Now, we serve those charged with crimes. We leverage our insights to pursue just results for our clients.
Fighting Felony Charges Across White Plains and Peekskill
A felony charge has the power to damage the life you have worked so hard building, even if you never get convicted. For instance, your personal, professional and social life, to name a few, may all suffer upon an accusation as serious as a felony. This is why you must equip yourself with a Westchester County felony charges defense lawyer who has in-depth insight into the other side of the courtroom.
Understanding how the prosecution prepares and executes their attacks against defendants is among the most invaluable aspects of an attorney, and Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP offers just that. Our team of Westchester County felony charges defense attorneys includes former prosecutors who can leverage their key knowledge to work to your advantage. No matter how complex your charges are, no case is too difficult to handle for our felony charges defense lawyers in Westchester County.