One of the most fundamental distinctions in American law is that between a felony and a
Felonies tend to be the most serious crimes in any society and
can be generally defined as a crime punishable by more than one year in prison, or by death.
Usually the specific offense itself is not labeled as a felony, but rather the punishment.
Felonies can have long-lasting effects on your freedom, privileges, ability to find work, and other
aspects of your life. Whenever possible, defense attorneys try to get a possible felony
reduced to a misdemeanor.
Misdemeanors are crimes that are less serious
than felonies, and are usually punishable by fines or incarceration for less than one year.
Grand juries are not invoked regarding misdemeanor offenses. Rather, most misdemeanors are
charged from a written complaint. Some misdemeanors, like traffic tickets, have predefined
penalties in the form of a fine schedule.
If you are charged with a felony
Arizona law, serious crimes like drug trafficking, assault with a deadly weapon, or homicide are
charged as felonies can lead to long prison sentences. Given the serious sanctions imposed on
someone convicted of a felony, anyone charged with a felony needs to retain experienced trial
lawyers. The worst thing you can do is pay your hard-earned money to an attorney who is not
capable of creating the strong defense that your case requires.
If charged with a felony, talk
to a lawyer before talking to police. Always remember that any statement you make can be held
against you. Do not make a mistake that may result in a conviction, prison term, and permanent
criminal record. Always insist on having your attorney present before answering questions or
making a statement to the police.