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Felonies: The most serious class of offenses

A felony is the most serious class of offenses you can be charged with. It's absolutely vital that you work on a strong defense if you face a felony charge. Felonies have more serious penalties than misdemeanors, and you could face time in prison or face heavy fines. You may face both in some cases.

Felonies affect all people differently. For example, if you're an immigrant, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) have the right to deport you if you've been convicted of a felony of moral turpitude.

There are many crimes that classify under those of moral turpitude. They include robberies, burglaries, kidnapping, murder, rape, arson, treason, terrorism and others.

Those who are citizens face prison sentences and heavy fines. First-time offenders generally face less severe penalties than second or third-time offenders. Third offenses are handled under a Three Strikes law, which creates severe penalties for those who have been convicted of offenses two times before. The laws are designed to prevent the individuals from committing these criminal acts ever again, so they may include long-time imprisonment or other serious penalties. The law itself requires a minimum of a life sentence for anyone convicted of a violent crime more than twice.

If you're facing your third offense or even a first offense, your defense is important. Your attorney can help you choose the best one for your situation, so you have the greatest chance of succeeding in court. With the right help, you may be able to have your case dismissed or be found innocent.

Source: FindLaw, "Felonies," accessed March 09, 2017

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