Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it is vitally important to assess your circumstances with clear eyes and a sharp mind. Regardless of the severity of the charges in question, you’ll need to seek experienced criminal defense counsel as soon as you can.
All too often, individuals accused of wrongdoing fail to treat their circumstances seriously because they’ve “only” been charged with a misdemeanor or a first-time felony offense. This is a mistake. Yes, some criminal charges are prosecuted with greater intention and punished more severely than others. But having a criminal record of any kind can change virtually every aspect of someone’s life for the worse. Mounting a strong defense is the best way to ensure an outcome that is as favorable as possible under the circumstances.
The Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer – including those who practice at the Law Group of Iowa – can discuss in greater detail with regard to your particular circumstances, misdemeanors are generally viewed as “lesser” criminal charges, while felonies are generally viewed as “more serious” criminal charges. With that said, some charges aren’t so straightforward. Aggravating factors may come into play that can bump the classification of conduct ordinarily classified as a misdemeanor up to a felony.
The primary distinction between misdemeanors and felonies is that misdemeanors are not punishable by more than one year in jail, whereas felonies are potentially punishable by more than one year in prison. All charges of criminal wrongdoing in Iowa are graded according to this bright line.
Potential Consequences of Conviction
It’s important to understand that just because misdemeanors are characterized by a maximum potential penalty and felonies are characterized by a minimum potential penalty everyone who is convicted of one or the other is subjected to a term of incarceration. One of the primary reasons why it is so important to mount a strong criminal defense is that, with the benefit of experienced and zealous advocacy, you could potentially avoid time behind bars. You may even have the charges against you dropped, dismissed, deferred, or otherwise minimized to the point wherein you won’t suffer the weight of a criminal conviction on your record.
If you already have a criminal record, you understand how important it is to avoid having any more entries made on this consequential “document.” If you have never been accused of criminal wrongdoing before, the most important information that you can place in the forefront of your mind is that you DON’T want a criminal record and that you need to seek legal guidance to see if you can avoid getting one.
Why is a criminal record such a burden? It can prevent you from securing housing, employment, higher education, and even opportunities to volunteer. It can affect child custody cases and carries a social stigma that could affect your ability to date, make friends, and maintain the respect of your loved ones. Regardless of the charges you’re facing, the time to seek guidance is now.