Suffolk County Felony Defense Attorney
Felony charges are very serious matters, and should not be taken lightly. Being convicted of a felony offense means you are subject prison sentences and fines as well as a criminal record that will affect every aspect of your life. In many cases, even the lowest classes of felonies in New York State carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence, and convicted felons may also find their life dramatically altered once they leave prison, since their record makes it difficult to find a well-paying job, rent an apartment, open a checking or savings account, or even move to a different area.
However, a felony charge does not mean the “end of the world.” Attorney Scharfenberg has represented thousands of accused felons from across Suffolk and Nassau counties and has won countless not-guilty verdicts or won mitigated sentences due to his aggressive courtroom defense and extensive knowledge of the law. If you are innocent, he won’t rest until all charges are dismissed. If you are guilty, but of a lesser charge than the prosecution has brought against you, or if there are mitigating circumstances involved, he will fight for your absolute best-case scenario.
Attorney Scharfenberg has practiced criminal law for over 20 years and can defend you against any felony offense, including:
- Drug Crimes
- Cocaine Offenses
- Club Drug Offenses
- Designer Drug Offenses
- Marijuana Offenses
- Methamphetamine Offenses
- Opium Offenses
- Juvenile Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Child Pornography
- Prostitution & Solicitation
- Statutory Rape
- Sexual Assault
- Theft & Property Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Weapons Offenses
- Unlawful Possession of a Weapon
- Unlawful Use of a Weapon
- Unlawful Sale of a Weapon
- Violent Crimes
- Assault & Battery
- Domestic Violence
Classifications of Felonies
Not all felony charges are the same, and the severity of the charge almost directly correlates to the severity of the punishment and sentencing. In short, all felony crimes are punishable by more than one year in prison, and felonies range in classification from “A” to “E.” Class A felonies are further divided into two subcategories, including Class A-I and Class A-II, while B to E felonies are divided into “Violent” and “Non-Violent.” It is important to remember that each classification and subcategory (Violent or Non-Violent) carries its own sentencing spectrums. These spectrums are defined below.
Class A-I felonies are the most serious crimes and they carry an indeterminate prison sentence with a maximum of life and a minimum of 15 to 40 years. Class A-I felonies can include:
- Aggravated Murder
- Crime of Terrorism
- Kidnapping in the First Degree
- Murder in the First and Second Degree
Class A-II felonies carry an indeterminate prison sentence with a maximum of life and a minimum of 3 to 8 years. Class A-II felonies can include:
- Criminal possession or sale of a controlled substance in the second degree
- Predatory sexual assault
Class B to E felonies, including both violent and non-violent, range from a maximum of 25 years in prison to a minimum of one year (for Class E felonies). As an example, some crimes and their classifications can include:
Class B Violent – Assault in the first degree, rape in the first degree, burglary in the first degree
Class B Non-Violent – Conspiracy in the second degree, aggravated vehicular homicide, grand larceny in the first degree
Class C Violent – Aggravated criminally negligent homicide, strangulation in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree
Class C Non-Violent – Aggravated vehicular assault, arson in the third degree, forgery in the first degree
Class D Violent – Reckless assault of a child, sexual abuse in the first degree, falsely reporting an incident in the first degree
Class D Non-Violent – Burglary in the third degree, labor trafficking, criminal tampering in the first degree
Class E Violent – Persistent sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth degree, falsely reporting an incident in the second degree
Class E Non-Violent – Promoting a suicide attempt, menacing in the first degree, substitution of children
This is just a short list detailing some of the crimes associated with each classification. In most cases, punishment is delivered based on the seriousness of the crime, although knowing the classification and the indeterminate prison sentence can give defendants an idea of what they are facing.
Additionally, fines for felonies can be no higher than $5,000 or double the amount the defendant gained from the crime. Drug felony fines, however, can be much higher. For example, a Class A-I drug felony can carry a fine up to $100,000.
The Role of the Attorney
Trials for felonies will most likely occur at Suffolk County Courts. Within 24 hours of arrest, defendants are brought before a judge, who then informs the defendant of the charges and sets bail. Plea offers can be made at the arraignment. Otherwise, the case proceeds to a Grand Jury, who decides if the evidence is legally sufficient to provide reasonable cause that the accused committed a crime.
A myriad of pre-trial motions then occur after the Grand Jury, and defendants are thereafter taken to court if the case cannot be settled beforehand.
When convicted of a felony, an experienced attorney often stands as your best ally to have the charges dismissed, reduced to a misdemeanor, or vindicated. From aggressively challenging police tactics and procedures to see if your rights were violated to working with prosecutors and judges to reduce sentencing, an attorney can help guide you along every step of the way.
If you or a loved one was convicted of a felony charge, don’t wait and get the legal counsel you need to get through this difficult time. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To set up a free consultation, give us a call today at (631) 472-3779.