A felony is a crime that is often punished with a year or longer of prison, costly fines, and possibly several years on felony probation. By comparison, a misdemeanor may entail less than a year of jail time, minor fines, and community service. However, this isn’t a rule that applies to all situations. For instance, whether a drug possession is a misdemeanor or felony is based on the circumstances of the arrest, such as the age of the offender, kind and amount of drug, location of possession, and whether they have a history of similar criminal activity.
Anyone who is concerned that their drug possession offense is considered a felony and wants to try to have it dropped to a misdemeanor must consult with a drug lawyer, like a drug lawyer in Rockville, MD, for strategic advice.
Dropping a Felony to a Misdemeanor
It may be possible to decrease a felony charge to a misdemeanor with help from a seasoned attorney. Your attorney can investigate the arrest to ensure that your rights weren’t violated, along with scrutinizing the evidence against you to see if the arresting officer made a big mistake that could result in a decreased conviction. Before the felony can be dropped to a misdemeanor, there has to be some area of doubt in order for your attorney to successfully fight for a lesser charge.
Your attorney may use any of the following defense strategies to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor:
The accused may be able to obtain a plea agreement which reduces the penalty and severity of the charge. Your attorney can negotiate with the prosecution in exchange for the accused accepting responsibility for at least some of the charges. If the prosecution feels as though the accused is a threat to the community due to violence being an element of the drug possession arrest, then they may not be willing to offer a plea bargain.
Your attorney has a couple of choices when it comes to advocating on your behalf. First, if it applies to the accused, an attorney can show that you have no history of criminal activity, that you give back to the community, and are a good samaritans. Your attorney can create a character packet that includes your accomplishments, career, and testimonies from important people in your life.
Second, if you were sentenced to several years of probation, you can periodically send updates to the court that you have taken steps towards correcting the lifestyle you had previously and are staying out of trouble. Your attorney may be able to influence the court into withholding your convicted felon status and have your record sealed so that no criminal convictions appear on your background.
Mistake by Arresting Officer
It is possible that the arresting officer made a mistake, such as losing the drug evidence, performing an unlawful search and seizure, or violating your rights in some way. The felony conviction could be reduced if your attorney can show that the officer made a crucial error in handling your arrest.
Contact an attorney today if you or someone you love has been arrested with a felony drug possession charge.
Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into whether felony drug charges can be dropped to a misdemeanor.