Criminal Defense: Felony Charges (such as Breaking & Entering, Robbery, Burglary, and Larceny) Criminal Defense in Western Mass
Getting arrested can be a heart wrenching experience, but being charged with a felony is often a grave and highly traumatic event. Felonies carry substantially higher penalties than misdemeanors. Further, there are far more social and legal sanctions associated with felony convictions. Being a felon often has severe extra-legal impacts with regard to job prospects, receipt of government services, loss of civil rights (such as running for office, joining the military, and voting), insurance, driving, and social contacts. Of course, a Class 1 felony conviction can result in the worst punishment in Massachusetts, that of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Although there is no death penalty in Mass., the federal government does prosecute capital cases in the state.
Some crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the severity of the circumstances and the inclination of the DA (District Attorney) or presiding judge. For example, the seriousness of drug possession charges, and the degree of punishment, is often determined by the nature and amount of evidence that was recovered. Assault is another category that carries variable charges, depending on such factors as whether someone is seriously injured in the incident.
Some of the well-known categories of felonies include: breaking and entering, robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, weapons violations, arson, murder or attempted murder, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, sexual assault (forcible rape and date-rape), drunk driving, drug possession and distribution, assault and battery, fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and counterfeiting.
There are many myths surrounding criminal felony cases. One is that most accused people are guilty. Another is that it is extremely difficult—almost next to impossible—to win your case in a criminal trial. One thing that is NOT a myth, however, is that you need a good lawyer with significant trial experience defending you in felony crime cases. More experience is generally better than less, but much depends on the attorney’s innate intelligence, judgment, and persuasive nature before a jury.
The best advice for anyone facing a felony charge is to be sure to have a highly qualified criminal defense lawyer mounting an aggressive defense for you. Do not make any statements without the approval of your attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent. A skilled felony defense lawyer will offer many skills, including the ability to negotiate. Only about 5% of felony convictions result from jury trials, with the remainder resulting in a plea bargain. This is where a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for a reduced sentence or other more favorable treatment than what could result if the case went to trial. An attorney’s skill can make a huge difference in such negotiations. Even if you plan on pleading guilty to the charges you face, it is absolutely essential to have the assistance of a qualified attorney representing you to ensure that you receive the best possible deal.
A good criminal defense attorney should also be able to clearly explain to a defendant the legal ramifications and considerations that bear on that person’s case. He or she should also be able to outline the range of options available. Throughout the process of trying a case, a lawyer will vigorously protect the defendant’s rights. This can be a big issue when, for example, a defendant is pressured to accept a plea bargain after having asserted his or her innocence to the defense attorney. In addition to steadfastly defending the accused during trial, the lawyer should retain the best available experts to support the defense's case, and file all appropriate motions.
Attorney Daniel M. Sandell has handled numerous criminal cases involving felony charges throughout the courts of Western Massachusetts. Whether you are charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, fraud, or uttering a counterfeit note, he has the skill and experience to ensure that you will receive solid legal advice from an attorney with proven trial experience.
No matter what your circumstances, even if you've made incriminating statements or have given a confession in a felony case against you, contact us immediately for a free, no-obligation, introductory consultation and evaluation. We will carefully consider the facts of your case, and give you an honest assessment of worst-case and best-case scenarios. (Beware of any lawyer who makes flat-out promises about your case's resolution.) If you are incarcerated in a local jail or state prison, we will gladly come to the facility to meet with you.