What Happens If You Are Charged With a Felony?

A felony conviction is a life-changing conclusion to any court case, regardless of the specific charge(s) filed against you. Therefore, if you are charged with a felony, you must pay close attention to the steps that you take before, during, and even after your pending court dates.

Having an experienced Greenville criminal defense attorney on your side is crucial, so contact Boatwright Legal today.

Hire an Experienced Greenville Criminal Defense Attorney

One of the first things you should realize is the need to involve an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The consequences of a felony conviction are serious, and legal representation is critical to protecting your rights.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silence

A natural reaction whenever you feel backed into a corner is to try to talk it out or reach a solution with your words. Negotiations, rationalizations, and detailed explanations may work well in other situations and scenarios. However, neither of those approaches should be used when you are being charged with a felony.

As stated within the Miranda warning, you have the right to remain silent simply because anything you say could be used against you in court. Exercising your right to counsel as quickly as possible will make it much easier for you to exercise your right to remain silent even when under pressure.

Remain Calm and Pay Attention to the Details

The stress of the situation can quickly become overwhelming mentally, emotionally, and even physically – especially during any applicable arrest or detention process.

Remain calm and just stay focused on what is happening each step of the way. This will help you to recall even the smallest details when speaking with your Greenville criminal defense attorney. More importantly, it will hopefully prevent you from making a bad situation worse just from your reaction.

felony charges carry severe penalties

Educate Yourself on the Specific Classes of Felonies

There are similarities with how all felonies are treated, especially when it comes to the lasting impact on your criminal record and the high probability of receiving a prison sentence. However, it would be a mistake to assume that all felonies are alike.

Within South Carolina, there are six different classes of felonies used that are lettered A-F. Unlike the standard grading scale in school, the least favorable (and most serious) of the six is Class A.

While Class F felony convictions could lead to a 5-year prison sentence, Class A felonies are punishable with a maximum of 30 years in prison in addition to the other penalties and fines associated with the charges.

Keep in mind that there may also be multiple charges filed against you depending on the circumstances of the case and the separate criminal acts allegedly committed. Take, for example, the act of stealing a car and recklessly driving away with it.

  • If the value of the vehicle exceeds $2,000, it will be charged as grand larceny (Class C felony). According to the South Carolina law code, you could face a maximum of 5 to 10 years in prison depending on if the vehicle value is less or greater than $10,000.
  • If you hit and kill someone with the stolen vehicle as you’re driving away, then you could face manslaughter charges in addition to a potential Class 2 misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.

We Can Help If You Are Charged With a Felony

Another important step in handling a felony charge is to not allow time to slip away from you. The state makes felony convictions a top priority, which means the prosecutor will not drag their feet with the steps taken as they await your court date. You should exercise the same sense of urgency.

Contact Boatwright Legal today for a free consultation with an experienced Greenville criminal defense attorney.