The practice of criminal law deals with violations of law that can result in fines and/or imprisonment. Crimes are divided into two categories. Less serious crimes are classified as misdemeanors. Misdemeanors can result in fines and jail sentences of up to 2 years. More serious crimes are classified as felonies. In addition to fines, felony convictions carry maximum prison sentences ranging from 3 years to life or the death penalty for convictions of 1st degree murder. In addition to fines and imprisonment, criminal convictions can have other adverse effects on a person's life. Convictions for certain types of crimes may disqualify a person for certain types of employment. Felony convictions can result in loss of citizenship, including the right to vote.
In order to convict a person of a crime, the state must prove the person's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This requires not only proving that the person committed the acts he/she is accused of committing, but also that those acts constitute the elements of the offense with which the person is charged. Criminal trials involve many technical questions regarding evidence, the admissibility of evidence, the elements of the offense charged, and the sufficiency of the evidence to establish those elements. If a person is convicted of the crime, determination of the appropriate penalty involves consideration of numerous factors that must be presented to the court in the appropriate manner.
Anyone who is charge with a criminal offense should give serious consideration to retaining an attorney. The phrase he who represents himself has a fool for a client has no more pertinent application than in the area of criminal law. Dealing objectively and rationally with all the rules and legal principles that may apply while at the same time dealing with the stress of possible conviction is beyond the capabilities of most people. Even good lawyers facing criminal charges hire attorneys to represent them.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offense, call PenistonDeason at 704-373-0203 or Contact Us. The initial consultation is free of charge.