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What Should I Do if I am Being Accused of a Felony?

What Should I Do if I am Being Accused of a Felony?

What Should I Do if I am Being Accused of a Felony?

Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offense in Missouri, and the penalties are much harsher than those associated with infractions and misdemeanors. If you have been charged with a felony offense, a conviction will result in a lengthy jail sentence, high fines, and a forfeiture of your rights. For example, many convicted felons are prohibited from voting, owning firearms, and more. It is critical that you speak with a Missouri felony lawyer who can defend against your charges so you can retain your freedom.

Common Felony Offenses in Missouri

Many crimes are classified as felonies in Missouri. Some of the most common are as follows:

  • DUI/DWI, depending on the number and severity of past charges
  • Drug crimes, as most are considered felonies in Missouri
  • Tampering, in certain situations
  • Institutional vandalism
  • Property damage
  • Assault and battery
  • Arson
  • Knowingly exploding or burning

How a Missouri Felony Lawyer Can Help You Beat Your Charges

It is always recommended that you work with a criminal defense lawyer whenever you are charged with a crime. When you are facing felony charges, though, it becomes even more important that you have legal representation. While working on your case, a Missouri felony lawyer will take many steps to protect your freedom and ensure your rights are upheld. These are as follows:

  • Conduct an investigation: Not all arrests, searches, and investigations by law enforcement are legal. A lawyer will examine the full facts of your case to determine if law enforcement violated the law and, if so, will use that information to have important evidence against you thrown out.
  • Speak to witnesses: Witness testimony is often crucial to a case. For example, an eyewitness may state that you were not at the crime scene, which may be enough to convince a judge or jury that you are innocent.
  • Look for discrepancies: If there are discrepancies in your case, it can significantly help with your defense. For example, if a police officer stated that they read you the Miranda warning, but they did not, an attorney will know how to prove you were not advised of your rights, which could also get important testimony thrown out.

Expungement is a Final Option

There were significant changes made to the expungement laws in Missouri in 2021. Expungement is a legal term referring to criminal records that are sealed and are no longer available to the public. Expunged records also require a court order to reopen them. Under the new law, convicted felons can apply for expungement three years after they have completed probation or served their sentence. Under the old law, individuals convicted of a felony had to wait seven years before exploring expungement as an option.

Our Felony Lawyer in Missouri Can Defend Your Case

If you have been charged with a felony, do not try to defend yourself on your own. Scott A. Hamblin is a Missouri felony lawyer who knows the defenses available and how to use them successfully so you have the best chance of beating your charges. Call us now or contact us online to schedule a consultation and learn more.

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