A criminal offense can result in a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the severity of the crime, your record, and whether your case involves aggravating factors. A felony conviction typically carries more severe penalties and consequences than a misdemeanor one, regardless of whether they happen at the state or the federal level.
Understanding how felony classes work can help you get a clear idea of what you may face in the event of a conviction. No matter which felony class your charges involve, you should always reach out to a trusted criminal defense attorney as soon as you face accusations to increase your chances of avoiding conviction.
Felony Classes and Their Associated Penalties
Three classes of felony exist in Washington state and a conviction typically involves fines and a prison sentence:
- Class A Felonies: up to $50,000 in fines and up to a lifetime prison sentence
- Class B Felonies: up to $20,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison
- Class C Felonies: up to $10,000 in fines and up to five years in prison
If you are facing federal felony charges or accusations for multiple criminal offenses, your penalties may increase accordingly. Any previous criminal convictions for misdemeanor or felony can also result in harsher penalties.
Other Consequences of a Felony Conviction in Washington State
A felony conviction for a sex crime usually requires that you register as a sex offender for a specific number of years. Any felony conviction can also negatively impact various aspects of your life including housing, financial, educational, and employment opportunities. Under certain circumstances, it could also affect your right to own a firearm and obtain or maintain professional licenses.
If you share custody of minor children with a former partner or spouse, a court may grant full custody to the other parent or request supervision visits when you spend time with your children depending on the severity of your felony conviction.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Contest Felony Charges
Hiring a reputable criminal defense attorney plays a central role in obtaining a dismissal or reduction of charges. At Hester Law Group, we have decades of combined experience and leverage our in-depth understanding of state and federal laws to fight for your rights and future.
Our attorneys offer a free consultation to evaluate your specific situation and find a strategy that meets your needs. While you should cooperate with law enforcement, make sure to use your right to consult an attorney before answering any questions that may incriminate you. Our team can walk you through each step of the court proceedings from recommending against answering specific questions during your police interviews to representing you before the court. Our team can conduct its own investigation to gather evidence to support your defense. We are committed to finding any discrepancy or issue in the prosecution’s approach and proof to fight for your interests.
We strive to get the charges against you dismissed. If this is not possible, we aim for a reduction of charges. If a judge convicts you, our attorneys can also help you appeal the verdict. We can use aggressive advocacy and creative strategies to stand up for your rights.
Are you facing felony charges in Tacoma or its surrounding areas? Contact Hester Law Group today at (253) 300-3034 to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers.