These offenses are for very serious crimes that could cause a person to go to prison. Certain low-level felonies are termed State Jail Felonies and are for offenses such as nonviolent offenses. Examples are credit card abuse, possession of a small amount of Methamphetamine, and DWI with a Child. Time spent in a state jail is usually a day for day and parole is not offered. With state jail felonies there are statutory options available that the defense attorney may use to negotiate with and get the prosecutor to agree to allow the case to be reduced to a misdemeanor or if not reduced, allow the defendant to do any jail time in a county jail instead of a state jail. Higher level felonies are 3rd (2-10 years), 2nd (2-20), 1st degree (5 - 99), and capital (possible death penalty) cases.
Many times a trial is the only option on a felony case and, if the outcome is a not guilty, the defendant can get all traces of the charge removed. Before he goes to trial, he can choose who would assess his punishment if he is found guilty. A very important decision with a lot of factors involved.
If found guilty, most defendants would ask for probation and usually get it. If a person is not given probation and sentenced to prison, he may be eligible for parole fairly quickly if he has not been in trouble before and does not cause trouble while in prison. For example, a person is sentenced to five years for a nonviolent offense, he may eligible for parole in less than a year. In some types of offenses, the has to serve at least half the sentence before being parole eligible.
Most cases are plea-bargained out and do not go to trial. If we can, we try to get the offense reduced to a misdemeanor and get a special type of probation that allows the defendant to get the record sealed at a later date. If we cannot get it dismissed, we still may be able to get the special type of probation that will allow sealing the record at a later date. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.