“Crime doesn’t pay” is an adage often used to prevent crimes from being committed. Yet, it is an adage that plays with an assumption – that the people who commit crimes are doing so for selfish reasons that ultimately do not pan out. Often, crimes stem from a spur of the moment mistake. Or, perhaps, a situation in which the person felt that they didn’t have a choice. An experienced criminal attorney understands the mistake in this narrow perception of crime and does everything in his or her power to protect people from a lifetime of consequences.
The severity of the crime, misdemeanor or felony, will greatly influence the type of penalties you could face. Common criminal offenses are DUIs, domestic violence charges, drug offenses, shoplifting, assault, theft, arson, bribery, kidnapping, and murder. How do the courts determine which crimes warrant a felony or misdemeanor? In Providence, there are no “classes” of crimes that distinguish the severity of different crimes, but a simple rule: any crime that is punishable by more than one-year incarceration or a thousand-dollar fine is considered a felony. For many, this clear cut definition results in a felony on their criminal record.
For individuals who feel that they may be found guilty – “nolo contendre” filings are the best opportunity to prevent that. “Nolo contendre” translates to “no contest,” meaning that an individual can accept the punishment without a guilty plea on their record. With this, a defendant would only need to follow the conditions of the no contest filing in order to avoid a guilty verdict. However, keep in mind that this option is only available for first-time offenders or for misdemeanors. If the individual has been charged repeatedly, it may prove to be difficult to negotiate the “no contendre.”
With a strategic Providence criminal attorney, an individual charged with a crime can face their trial with the right tools to minimize the penalties if convicted.