Syracuse Felony Defense Attorneys

Felony defense lawyers

The penalties for those convicted of a felony in New York are serious. Under New York law, felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors. The consequences are, therefore, much more significant. If you’re facing a felony charge for the first time, you may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The highly skilled criminal defense attorneys at CDH Law persuasively advocate on behalf of our clients throughout the entire legal process. We always assume that our clients are innocent until proven guilty. We routinely represent clients facing felonies of every class in Syracuse, elsewhere in Onondaga County, and across Central New York.

A Felony Conviction Brings About Lifetime Negative Consequences

New York penal law distinguishes between felonies and misdemeanors by the amount of jail time a person convicted of a crime may serve. Those convicted of a felony charge can serve a year or more of jail time while those convicted of a misdemeanor can serve a year or less of jail time. The consequences of serving a minimum of a year in jail, paying fines, and probation, and contending with a criminal record are challenging enough. New Yorkers convicted of felonies automatically face several other negative consequences, such as:

  • Not being eligible for welfare benefits
  • Exclusion from specific professional licensing programs
  • Revocation of certain professional licenses
  • Prohibited from purchasing firearms
  • Barred from participating as a juror
  • Not being eligible for housing subsidized by the federal government

Felony Classes in New York State

The New York penal code places felonies into five different classes. Each class has a corresponding maximum sentence for jail time, which can be enhanced for subsequent convictions. When multiple convictions occur at the same time, the defendant may serve their jail sentences concurrently or consecutively depending on the circumstances and the judge’s sentencing decision.

  • Class A Violent Felony (A-I and A-II) – Life Without Parole
  • Class B Violent Felony – 25 years
  • Class B Non-Violent Felony – 25 years
  • Class C Violent Felony – 15 Years
  • Class C Non-Violent Felony – 15 years
  • Class D Violent Felony – 7 Years
  • Class D Non-Violent Felony – 7 Years
  • Class E – Violent Felony – 4 Years
  • Class E – Non-Violent Felony – 4 Years
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New York Class A Felonies Are the Most Severe

Class A felonies in New York are the most severe crimes. Historically, those convicted of a Class A felony would be eligible to receive the death penalty, but the state of New York abolished the death penalty in 2007. Many defendants convicted of Class A felonies receive a sentence of life in prison. Except for murder, all Class A felonies occur in the first degree. The following offenses are Class A felonies in New York:

The minimum amount of time served for a Class A felony is typically between 15 and 40 years. The maximum penalty is life without parole. Crimes involving drugs have their own sentencing guidelines. Class A felonies are severe, so it is wise that you speak with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney if you’re facing a Class A felony charge. The criminal defense team at CDH Law understands how critical mounting a competent defense is for clients charged with Class A felonies.

Class B Violent and Non-Violent Felony Crimes in New York

Both Class B violent and non-violent felonies come with a maximum jail sentence of 25 years. Prosecutors may leave some room for plea bargaining Class B felony charges during the legal process. Common Class B felony crimes are the second most severe crimes under New York penal law and include the following:

Class C Felony Crimes in New York

Class C Violent felony crimes come with a 3.5 to 15-year maximum jail sentence. Non-violent Class C felony consequences range from probation with no jail time to up to 15 years of jail time served. Class C felonies include the following crimes:

  • Second-degree robbery
  • Larceny
  • Drug distribution
  • Aggravated criminal possession of a weapon
  • Aggravated second-degree manslaughter
  • Aggravated criminally negligent homicide
  • Aggravated criminally
  • Aggravated vehicular assault
  • Attempt to commit a class B felony
  • Fourth-degree drug possession
  • Fourth-degree sale of a controlled substance
  • Second-degree burglary
  • Second-degree bribery
  • Second-degree gang assault
  • Second-degree money laundering
  • Criminal possession of a weapon
  • Second-degree welfare fraud
  • Assault on a police officer, firefighter, peace officer, or emergency medical services professional
  • Third-degree assault
  • Third-degree arson

Examples of Class D Felonies in New York

Most class D felony crimes are non-violent. Violent Class D felonies include the following:

  • First-degree stalking
  • First-degree sexual abuse
  • Second-degree assault
  • Third-degree possession of a weapon

The majority of Class D felonies are non-violent, such as:

  • Aggravated identity theft
  • Fifth-degree drug possession
  • Fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance
  • First-degree patronizing of a prostitute
  • First-degree criminal trespass
  • First-degree use of drug paraphernalia
  • First-degree vehicular assault
  • Second-degree vehicular manslaughter
  • Third-degree robbery
  • Third-degree money laundering
  • Third-degree bribery
  • Second-degree marijuana possession
  • First-degree reckless endangerment

Examples of Class E Violent and Non-Violent Felony Charges

Class E Felony charges are some of the more common non-violent offenses (although a few are classified as “violent” felonies). These charges are no less dangerous, however. Those charged with a Class E felony face up to four years of jail time, and fines, and will have a criminal record. Common Class E felony crimes include:

  • Vehicular assault in the second degree
  • Criminally negligent homicide
  • Reckless assault of a minor child by a daycare provider
  • Rape in the third degree
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree
  • Abandonment of a child
  • Aggravated harassment in the first degree
  • Arson in the fourth-degree
  • Aggravated assault upon a Minor (age 11 or younger)
  • Criminal injection of a narcotic drug
  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the third-degree
  • Defrauding the government
  • Unlawful sale of marijuana in the third-degree
  • Perjury in the second degree
  • Stalking in the second-degree
  • Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree
  • Insurance fraud in the fourth-degree
  • Grand larceny in the fourth degree
  • Possession of sexual performance or an obscene sexual performance by a minor child
  • Welfare fraud in the fourth-degree

Contact Our Syracuse & Central New York Felony Defense Attorneys

Are you facing a criminal felony charge in New York? The experienced criminal defense attorneys at CDH Law are ready to defend you. We represent clients throughout the Syracuse, New York area and will fight for your rights throughout the entire process. Contact our law firm today to set up your initial consultation.

Carden Dotzler Hammond, PLLC represents clients in Central New York, Syracuse, Monroe County, Jefferson County, Oswego County, Ontario County, and Onondaga County, including the towns and villages of Camillus, Cicero, Clay, Dewitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus, Onondaga, Salina, Skaneateles, Baldwinsville, East Syracuse, Fayetteville, Liverpool, North Syracuse, and Solvay.