Felony charges are extremely serious in New York and can result in you spending thousands of dollars of money or years of your life in prison. If you are facing a felony conviction in this state, whether you live in Binghamton or Greater Broome County, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to provide you with legal assistance. The information they provide you with can make all the difference with what happens during and after your case.

Below you will find the basics of felonies in New York and how they work. Although this information is helpful, it's always important to call a lawyer to get specific legal advice about your case.

What is a Felony?

This is a crime that is more serious than a misdemeanor. The punishments for this can result in spending more than a year in prison and owing thousands of dollars in fine. There are different classes of felonies in this state, which include: A, B, C, D and E. Class A felonies are the most serious and result in the most extreme punishments while E felonies are generally the least serious.

Examples of felonies in New York include:

  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Burglary
  • Murder
  • Rape

How Felonies Work

Once you are arrested your felony process actually begins. The officer will ask you questions, but it is your right to remain silent and withhold speaking until you are able to retain an attorney. After your arrest you will be taken to the police station to be booked, which is when you will be able to make a phone call to your attorney or anyone else that you desire.  Then you will be taken before a Judge for an arraignment.

Your arraignment is where you will meet with the judge and have your felony charges expressed out loud. You will be able to enter your plea in at this time, which is something your attorney can help you with, if you desire.  In a New York State local court you cannot plead guilty to a felony.

Keep in mind that before your trial you can meet with your attorney to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution. This is where you will plead guilty to a lesser charge so that you receive a lighter sentence than you would to your current charged. For example, you could get a Class E felony instead of a Class C, which means potentially less time spent in prison.

If you do have to go to trial as a result of not going into a plea agreement, then your lawyer is the one who will defend you. They will provide you with legal advice for what they feel is the best defense for your situation.

Hiring an Experienced Binghamton Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a felony in New York is extremely stressful and difficult for anyone. It's important to hire a criminal defense attorney who lives and practices in the area. This will ensure that they can come up with an expert defense strategy and help you in the most efficient way possible.