Facing criminal charges can be frightening. There are many potential consequences you face for a conviction, but there is a chance to build your defense with the right help. An experienced Auburn criminal lawyer can help understand the nature of your pending charges, available defenses, and potential ramifications, and can evaluate how to proceed through the criminal legal process. Therefore, if you are facing criminal charges in Auburn, you need a criminal defense attorney with knowledge of the local systems of justice and an understanding of all involved in a criminal case.
Classification of Crimes
Under Alabama law, a crime can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, misdemeanor crimes are not considered as seriously and the penalties are less severe, although they still have the potential to include jail sentences of up to a year. Felonies are a more serious matter with the potential for grave penalties.
Within the broad classification of felony or misdemeanor, there are subcategories which also affect the severity of penalties that may be imposed by a court. Misdemeanors may be categorized as class A, B, or C, with class A being the most serious. Similarly, felonies are also graded as A, B, C, or D, with class A felonies including penalties of up to life in prison. Certain circumstances can aggravate a crime to move it to a different classification or mandate a minimum penalty.
Types of Crimes
Behavior that the law considers criminal falls into many categories. Examples of crimes treated as misdemeanors include:
- Driving under the influence
- Disorderly conduct
- Unpermitted firearms
- Indecent exposure
- Public intoxication
- Allowing minors to consume alcohol on premises
- Unlawful assembly
Certain behaviors that might otherwise be considered misdemeanors will be classified as felonies if they are more severe or involve valuable property or protected classes of individuals. Examples of felonies that warrant the attention of a criminal lawyer in Auburn include:
- Receiving stolen merchandise
- First-degree assault
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Sex crimes, such as rape
Each range of criminally classified behavior carries a range of penalties under Alabama law. In addition, local Auburn city ordinances may also come into play. It is important to note that there are circumstances deemed particularly egregious that mandate a penalty. State law establishes the range of fines and sentences that courts are instructed to impose upon those convicted of crimes.
For example, those found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, such as knowingly allowing persons under 21 to consume alcoholic beverages on their property, face jail sentences of up to six months and fines up to $3000. By contrast, an individual convicted of a more serious crime such as the Class A felony of Robbery with the threat of use of a deadly weapon, a first-degree offense, faces a fine of up to $60,000 and the possibility of a life prison sentence. An Auburn criminal attorney can assist in determining the appropriate defense depending on the severity of the charge.
Benefits of an Attorney
Every crime has elements that must be proven in a court of law to obtain a conviction. An attorney with experience in criminal defense will know these elements, know where the prosecution might have difficulty in proving the element, and how to build the best possible defense for a client, even in cases requiring student defense. For these reasons, if you have been charged with a crime, an Auburn criminal lawyer will also know how the statute of limitations fits into the circumstances of the case and how to argue most effectively on the client’s behalf.
Title: Patient and Attentive
By: A. Client
The team at Polson and Polson is awesome. They made what was the lowest point of my life hopeful. The team guided me patiently, without judgment and with reassurance that it would be alright every step of the way. Polson and Polson is the way to go if you ever find yourself in a position like mine.