Hopewell Criminal Lawyer
Regardless of where you are, facing criminal charges can be overwhelming, and a person may not be sure what next steps to take, or even what penalties they may have if convicted of their criminal charges. For this reason, it is crucial to have a criminal lawyer on your side. Someone who has experience handling similar cases, and who is familiar with the Hopewell area and court system can be a very useful aid throughout the process. A qualified attorney will be able to explain the legal process ahead, and can use their knowledge to build a strong defense and work with the judge and prosecutor on the case.
Misdemeanor v. Felony Charges
A misdemeanor is any crime for which the penalty is up to one year in jail, while a felony is any crime for which the associated penalty is incarceration for one year or more.
The major difference between felonies and misdemeanors is the seriousness of the crime and the penalty involved, which is primarily the incarceration requirement. However, despite this distinction, some felony offenses do involve elements of misdemeanors, and some misdemeanors involve elements of felony offenses.
In Hopewell, prosecutors treat felonies more seriously and with more fervor than misdemeanors, regardless of whether the felony was violent or non-violent.
Local and County Laws or Ordinances
Local ordinances may have some role in criminal cases. They can give officers reasons to stop, search, and arrest an individual, which can lead to state statutory violations.
Noise or parking violations are examples of local ordinance violations that could arise during a criminal case. This is especially relevant in DUI cases in which an improperly parked vehicle or a vehicle emanating excessively loud noise or music gives an officer a reason to stop or detain the vehicle and the person inside. Such a stop or detainment can, in turn, lead to harsh charges for a DUI-related offense.
Consequences of Conviction
Depending upon the crime, a misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Different charges can affect security clearance and background checks. Crimes of moral turpitude can also affect an individual’s stance in the court, which may affect the degree to which that individual is trustworthy in the eyes of the court.
A misdemeanor criminal conviction can impact security clearances and background checks. Depending on an individual’s level of clearance, a conviction can keep that individual from getting or maintaining certain jobs.
Importance of a Local Attorney
Requesting to speak to a lawyer cannot imply guilt, and, therefore, individuals who have been arrested or cited for any criminal offense are encouraged to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The earlier that an individual who has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony contacts an attorney, the more time that individual gives the attorney to protect his or her rights and interests. An attorney is a valuable asset and one which is most effective when involved early in a case.
If an individual is facing criminal charges in Hopewell, it is important that he or she take all of charges seriously and hire an experienced and diligent attorney as early possible. Doing so will allow that individual to put him or herself in a beneficial legal position when facing criminal charges in Hopewell. An experienced attorney knows the law, the geographical area, and helpful ways in which to protect the well-being and future interest of an individual who has been charged with a criminal offense, making them almost a necessity to successfully navigating the legal process.