A felony is the most serious criminal offense a defendant can be charged with, and conviction for that crime will result in a prison sentence. Most states determine whether a crime is a felony based on the severity of the crime, and the intent of the person who committed the crime.
Common Types of Felonies
Each state has an extensive list of crimes that are charged as felonies, but there are a few that are charged consistently in every state that you’ll be in need of felonies lawyers for, including:
- Murder – The intentional killing of another person. Each state has degrees of murder, with premeditated murder often the most serious offense.
- Manslaughter – The unlawful killing of another person without prior malice, which means you didn’t intend to kill that other person. Each state has degrees of manslaughter, including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
- Aggravated Assault – A more serious level of assault, this typically means that you used a deadly weapon during the assault, or that the severity of the injuries you caused merited this charge.
- Burglary – Unlawful entry into any structure with the intention of committing a crime. You can still be charged with burglary even without breaking and entering, so walking through a door that is open with the intention of committing a crime is still considered a burglary.
- Possession of a Firearm – In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with illegal possession of a firearm if you have been previously convicted of a violent crime, are not of legal resident status, are under the age of 18, are the subject of a protective order, or are a fugitive from justice.
- Robbery – When you unlawfully obtain property or money from another person with the use of a deadly weapon, or the person you steal from suffers an injury, you will be charged with robbery. Unlike theft, which can occur without violence or the threat of violence, robbery always involves actual violence, the threat of violence, or injury to the victim.
- Possession/Distribution of Child Pornography – State and federal child pornography laws are very serious, and being charged with this crime can have life-altering consequences. Federal possession, manufacturing or distribution of child pornography typically involves using the Internet or using direct mail. If you’re convicted of child pornography charges, you will not only go to prison, you will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life.
- Sale or Manufacture of Controlled Substance – The government classifies controlled substances into five major categories, with drugs such as LSD, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy categorized as Schedule I drugs. If you’re arrested on charges of intending to sell or manufacture these classes of drugs, you could face a lengthy prison sentence.
Strong, Aggressive Criminal Defense
If you’re arrested on a felony criminal charge, it is vital that you contact a criminal defense attorney while you’re still in custody. The clock begins ticking the minute police or federal law enforcement officials get you into an interrogation room, so you must immediately invoke your right to an attorney. The Law Offices of Steven F. O’Meara have more than 20 years experience in criminal defense. Please call us today at 610- 565-9200 to schedule a consultation.