Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P.


Serving Story County and Central Iowa since 1906

323 6th St.
Ames, IA 50010-0664
USA
 

Phone: (515) 232-4732
 

CRIMINAL DEFENSE :: Back to Practice Areas

I. Overview
II. The Criminal Defense Process
III. Misdemeanors
IV. Felonies
V. False Accusations
Frequently Asked Questions


Felonies

Serious crimes are called “felonies”. These crimes can be violent or non-violent, including the theft or embezzlement of large amounts, assault, murder, rape, kidnapping, drug trafficking, racketeering, and fraud. Generally, a felony is any crime with a punishment greater than one year in prison, including the death penalty. Therefore, the punishment defines the seriousness of the offense, not the criminal statute. Even if a state criminal code defines a crime as an “aggravated misdemeanor”, the crime is treated as a felony if the punishment exceeds one year of imprisonment.

Felony trials are handled differently from misdemeanor trials. The court will appoint an attorney to represent a defendant charged with a felony, although it will not always do this for misdemeanor cases. The defendant is generally required to be present for the entirety of a felony trial. In some states, a grand jury indictment is required for a felony charge. Some states disallow testimony from a defendant or witness who has been found guilty of a felony. In some states, a third felony conviction can bring a “three strikes” law into effect, meaning a mandatory life sentence. Finally, in some states a felony conviction can lead to a death sentence.

A felony charge can also affect other charges. In some jurisdictions, an accidental death can be ruled manslaughter or murder if it occurs during the commission of a felony. Conspiracies to commit felonies are generally treated more harshly than other conspiracies.

If a defendant is found guilty, a felony conviction can have serious repercussions for life. Felons not only receive longer sentences, but must suffer worse conditions in prison. Convicted felons are often stripped of their right to serve on juries. They may lose their right to vote. Felons are often barred from some professions, such as law, teaching or the military. Many states bar convicted felons from possessing firearms. And as mentioned, a third felony conviction can lead to a mandatory life sentence.

The seriousness of these crimes and of their punishment makes it vital to have an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Back to Top

spacer

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is a public service and solely for informational and reference purposes. No legal service or advice is hereby provided. No attorney-client relationship is hereby created. This website may contain information addressing certain tax issues; however, it is not intended to constitute a reliance opinion as described in IRS Circular 230; therefore, it cannot be relied upon to avoid any tax penalties. The information provided here is without warranty of any kind whatsoever. Use at your own risk. No endorsement, warranty, or claim is made with respect to the works of others whose work may be referenced. Please seek the advice of an attorney for all legal matters.

Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., is an Iowa general practice law firm with practice including, but not limited to  Administrative Law, Adoption Law, Agricultural Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking Law, Business Law (including business organization, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), incorporations, and sales of businesses and business assets), Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Construction Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Defense, Elder Law, Employment Law, Family Law (including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody, dissolution modification), Government, Government Contracts, Litigation, Personal Injury (including Motor Vehicle Accidents and Wrongful Death), Product Liability, Professional Negligence Law, Real Estate (including mortgage loan closings, IRC Section 1031 exchanges, subdivisions, platting, condominiums, and cooperative housing), Municipal Law, Taxation Law and Tax Preparation, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Probate Law (including financial and medical powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships, trust administration, and estate administration), Workers Compensation, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The offices of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., are located in Ames, Iowa. The lawyers and staff of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., serve clients throughout Iowa, including the cities of Ames, Nevada, Gilbert, Huxley, Slater, Zearing, Story City, Roland, McCallsburg, Colo, Cambridge, Sheldahl, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Marshalltown, Boone, Webster City, Eldora, Grundy Center, Newton, Adel, Eldora, Ankeny, Johnston, Indianola, Cedar Falls, Jefferson, Marshalltown, Clarion, Knoxville, and the communities that make up Story, Polk, Linn, Webster, Blackhawk, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, Jasper, Dallas, Hardin, Warren, Greene, Wright, and Marion counties.