Summerville Criminal Lawyer

Even minor criminal convictions can have adverse effects on your life for years into the future. As a result, deciding to get legal advice about your situation may be your first consideration when you are facing accusations of having committed a crime. A Summerville criminal lawyer can be instrumental in building an effective defense to criminal charges.

From drug crimes to assault, from trespassing to theft, criminal charges can span a wide range of penalties if a conviction occurs. You may lose your financial stability, your job, your housing, and your freedom if convicted of a crime. A criminal lawyer may be the best means of fighting the charges against you.

Common Criminal Offenses in Summerville

Many crimes exist under state law, but most of them fall into broader categories of criminal offenses. As a specific type of crime becomes more severe or harmful to others, penalties are likely to increase. Some of the common types of criminal offenses include:

Within those categories of crimes are smaller classifications of criminal offenses. For example, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or DUI, and related crimes are one subset of alcohol and drug offenses. In contrast, illegal drug manufacturing and distribution is another subset of these offenses.

In some cases, a crime can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances, such as whether the individuals have previous criminal convictions. Regardless of the situation, individuals may wish to consult a criminal lawyer in Summerville for advice about the best course of action for their cases.

Potential Penalties for Criminal Convictions

While both kinds of criminal convictions carry the potential for harsh penalties, felony convictions generally result in harsher punishments than misdemeanor convictions. Misdemeanor charges typically apply to less severe crimes that do not cause significant harm to others or result in large amounts of monetary loss or property damage. When people have no prior criminal convictions, they often will face misdemeanor charges for some crimes but may face felony charges for second or subsequent convictions for those crimes.

State law establishes further classifications of both misdemeanor and felony offenses. For example, the least severe category of misdemeanors is exempt misdemeanors, which can result only in fines, not jail time. Class A misdemeanors, however, can result in a prison sentence of up to three years and high fines.

Likewise, felony offenses have harsher consequences because they frequently involve bodily injuries to others, violent behaviors that create risks of harm to others, and the distribution of illegal drugs. Felony charges can range from Class F to Class A felonies and carry the potential for five to 30 years in prison, depending on the nature of the crime and the circumstances involved.

Collateral Consequences of Summerville Criminal Convictions

In many cases, the consequences of a criminal conviction go far beyond imprisonment and payment of fines. For example, a felony conviction can have even more unanticipated collateral consequences. For example, individuals may become ineligible for some jobs, careers, and professional certifications with a felony conviction on their records. They also may lose some civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms.

Being fully aware of the full range of possible ramifications of a felony conviction can be critical to the decisions that individuals make in their criminal cases. Getting the advice of a criminal attorney in Summerville to better prepare for these decisions may be wise.

Schedule a Consultation with a Summerville Criminal Attorney Today

Facing criminal charges is often stressful and intimidating. Contacting a Summerville criminal lawyer for advice can help calm your concerns and answer your questions throughout your criminal case.

By getting the information and advice that you need, you may be able to make well-informed choices in your case. You also can ensure that your interests are protected throughout any criminal proceedings. Call today to discuss your case.