Third Degree Felony
Being Charged With A Third Degree Felony
From state to state, the list of crimes that qualify as a third degree felony vary. They depend a lot on the actual circumstance of the crime and the offender's past criminal history. Some common examples are assault and battery, elder abuse, driving under the influence, drug possession, arson, child molestation, embezzlement, transmission of pornography, fraud and theft.
What Is A Felony?
If you are convicted of some type of crime that results in a punishment of over one year in prison, you have committed a felony. In the United States, a felony is considered the most severe form of crime but in many countries, this term is not even used anymore.
Being found guilty of a felony means that you will have much stricter restrictions on your lifestyle compared to someone who has committed a misdemeanor. In some locations you will never be able to vote again, serve on a jury, own a gun or become employed as a caregiver, doctor or teacher. If the conviction relates to some type of sex crime, you may be required to register that information in your area as public knowledge. In the United States, a third degree felony would mean that you are unable to freely travel to other countries.
Penalties and laws for a third degree felony vary greatly depending on geography. However, traditionally the most common rule is for required jail time of no more than 10 years but at least two years. This can be accompanied by a fine under $10,000.
The actual level of felony charge as well as the penalty it is granted will depend on your criminal record and severity of the crime as well as if there are any special circumstances to consider.
What Happens When You Are Charged?
If a third degree felony is what you are charged with, you need to hire a really good attorney who specifically specializes in these types of criminal cases. You will need representation as soon as possible. It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of having legal council who is extremely experienced.
Criminal cases are quite complex and far too complicated for a rookie attorney to handle. There are many third degree felony cases that are both lost and won simply on procedural or technical matters. One of the first things that your attorney will do is explore every detail of your case to look for any broken procedural rules or if any of your rights have been violated.
A criminal attorney with ample experience will be able to make recommendations whether you should choose a plea bargain and settle the case or if your best option is to go to trial. In the meantime, chances are, you will probably have to remain in jail however, in some case, you can post bail and live at home during the trial until you know the out come of your case.
In the United States, if you are taken directly into police custody, you have legal rights that are referred to as Miranda warnings. Police only have to give you these warnings if you are in custody.
- You have the right to not talk to the police. You do not have to answer their questions if you are in custody without an attorney.
- You have the right to speak with and see your attorney within a prompt time period.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to one who is provided by the courts.
Once you go to trial, you also have other rights too, such as:
- You have the right to a fair and speedy trial.
- You have the right to call witnesses.
- You have the right to refuse to testify.
- You cannot be tried for the same crime twice.