Being arrested and charged with a criminal offense can have dire consequences for the rest of a person’s life. Criminal convictions can affect potential current and future employment situations and education opportunities. It can even affect where you live since many landlords do not want to take the chance of renting to someone with a criminal record.
Therefore, it is critical for anyone who is facing a criminal investigation or has been charged with a crime to consult with a Gulf Shores criminal lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a defense.
Under Alabama criminal statutes, charges are classified as felonies, misdemeanors, or violations. Felonies and misdemeanors are also broken down into classes, depending on the seriousness of the charge. Violations are either state or municipal ordinance.
Violations are the least serious charges in Alabama. A conviction can result in up to 30 days in jail and up to a $200 fine. Traffic offenses typically fall under this category.
In Alabama, there are also three classes of misdemeanors a person can be charged with. Class A misdemeanor charges can result in up to one year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine. Domestic violence, third-degree assault, and second-degree criminal mischief are all Class A misdemeanor charges.
A Class B misdemeanor conviction could result in up to six months in jail and up to a $3,000 fine. Class B misdemeanor crimes include cruelty to animals and resisting arrest.
The least serious misdemeanor is a Class C. Charges such as disorderly conduct or open container fall under this category. A Class C conviction could result in a sentence of up to three months in jail and up to a $500 fine.
While violations and misdemeanor charges do not have as life changing penalties as felonies, it is vital to contact a Gulf Shores criminal attorney can help.
Felonies are classified as either Class A, Class B, or Class C. Class A felony charges are the most serious and carry with them the harshest penalties. Depending on the situation, a Gulf Shores criminal attorney may be successful in getting the class of felony a person is charged with lowered.
A Class A felony conviction carries a prison sentence of between 10 to 99 years (or life) and fines of up to $60,000. If a firearm or other deadly weapon was used or there was an attempt to use, the minimum penalty is 20 years in prison.
A minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment also applies if the conviction was for a felony sex offense involving a child.
The defendant would also be under supervision for 10 years after his or her release from prison. Charges that fall under Class A felony are murder, and first-degree kidnapping, rape, arson, or burglary.
A person who is convicted of a Class B felony faces between two to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $30,000. If a firearm or deadly weapon was used or there was an attempt to use, the minimum prison sentence is 10 years. There is also a minimum of 10 years in prison for anyone convicted of a Class B felony sex offense involving a child.
Criminal charges which are classified as Class B felonies include manslaughter, first-degree domestic violence, drug trafficking, and second-degree assault, burglary, rape, or theft.
Class C felony convictions carry one year plus one day up to 10 years in prison, however, if the sentence is for three years or less, incarceration can be at the county jail instead of a state prison. There is also a fine of up to $15,000 which can be imposed.
The use or the attempt to use a firearm or deadly weapon carries a minimum 10-year sentence. Drug possession, bribery, sexual abuse, and theft of services all fall in the Class C felony category.
Let an Attorney Fight for You
The repercussions from a criminal conviction can last for years and even a minor violation conviction can result in a negative impact on your criminal record.
No matter what you have been charged with, you need a Gulf Shores criminal lawyer aggressively advocating for you.