December 30

Difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.

Criminal offenses are characterized depending on their severity and the penalties that may have been imposed upon them. A felony and a misdemeanor are both criminal offenses, however, they are differentiated by the severity of the crime.

The basic differences between a felony and a misdemeanor:

  • A felony is a heinous crime.
    A misdemeanor is a less serious offense.
  • Felonies may require jail time as punishment, ranging from one year up to the maximum on the particular charge, in state prison.
    Misdemeanors may be punishable by up to one year in county jail.
  • Since a felony is a serious offense, it can leave a very long lasting impact on your criminal history. The consequences may include losing your right to vote if you’ve been convicted or losing your right to a firearm.
    A misdemeanor is a minor offense, that remains on your criminal history and could affect you later in life. However, the impact is not as horrific as that of a felony.
December 22

What are my rights if I am arrested for a criminal offense?

Individuals accused of committing a crime have a series of rights which are guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The following checklist of rights may also provide to you with guidance:

  • You have a right to remain silent: If you were accused of a crime, you have a right to remain silent. Therefore ensuring that you cannot be forced to disclose any information or prove your case to the police. If you attempted to remain silent in the face of police questioning and were pressured or forced into speaking, your rights have been violated.
  • You have a right to an attorney: If you are under arrest for a crime, you have the right to have an attorney present during the first and any subsequent talks with the police. (You also have a right to have counsel from any attorney during any trial). Your rights are violated if the police denied your request for an attorney during questioning.
  • You have a right to request for an attorney at later during questioning: At times, a criminal suspect may have false confidence that they can handle the matter without the assistance of an attorney. If the suspect decides to answer police questions without an attorney, they still possess the right to ask for an attorney at a later point. Once he or she asks for an attorney, all questioning must stop until the attorney arrives.
  • You are entitled to a state-paid and appointed attorney if you cannot afford your own: If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you are entitled to a state paid attorney, or a public defender will be assigned to represent you.
  • You have entitled to human treatment: Any criminal suspect is entitled to fair treatment, no matter how heinous the alleged crime is. If you were not treated humanely, for instance if you were beaten or deprived food either during police questioning or while in a holding cell, your rights may have been violated.
  • You cannot be held unfairly: The government cannot hold you for an extended period of time without charging you for a crime. If you have been held without being charged for longer than the legal period of time, your rights may have been violated.
  • You cannot be treated as guilty before you are convicted: A criminal suspect held in jail cannot be treated as a guilty individual no matter how strong the evidence. The U.S criminal justice system states that all people are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, if you have been punished or treated unfairly while awaiting trial, your rights may have been violated.
  • You are entitled to speedy trial: Once you are charged, the government cannot purposefully wait to commence a trial against you. If this happens, your rights have been violated.

Speak to the criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Reuven J. Epstein

If you were arrested for a criminal offense,  contact the law office of Reuven J. Epstein, criminal defense attorney. We have successfully defended the rights of numerous clients accused of serious crimes. Call us to schedule your appointment at 845-459-0002/ 800-579-1605 or email us at info@reuvenjepsteinlaw.com.

December 21

Will a misdemeanor show up on my background check?

If misdemeanors are compared to felonies, they can be termed as “less heinous” criminal offenses. They often include crimes like petty theft, disorderly conduct, vandalism, public intoxication, etc and may involve lesser punishments than felonies. However, similar to felonies, misdemeanors stay on your criminal record for your entire life. Therefore, if a thorough background check is done, misdemeanors can show up in your criminal history.

Also, if someone runs a background check, and claims that you were convicted of a charge that you didn’t know about, it needs to be addressed. Contact a criminal defense attorney for help.

If you are concerned about your your criminal history, please reach out to us today. If you were accused or convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, Reuven J. Epstein, criminal defense attorney in Spring Valley, NY, is ready to fight for you. We have successfully defended the rights of numerous clients accused of serious crimes at the Law Office of Reuven J. Epstein. Call 845-459-0002 or 800-579-1605 to schedule your appointment with Attorney Reuven J. Epstein.