Criminal Law – Q & A

Criminal Law – Q & A

There are many questions people have about the law when it comes to criminal justice. Attorneys at The Defenders want to make it easy to find the answers. When we take on a case, our clients have our firm’s knowledge and experience to count on for all of the answers to their questions about the law and their specific situation. The most important thing to do if you have been arrested or suspect you may be arrested for a crime is to obtain a criminal defense attorney. They will consult with you every step of the way and speak on your behalf. Here are some of the many common questions we have been asked along with the answers to those questions.

What is criminal law? 

By definition, criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It prescribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property, health, safety, and moral welfare of people inclusive of one’s self.

What are some common examples of a criminal offense?

Some of the most common are assault, theft, drunken driving, and murder.

What is the most important thing to do after an arrest?

The top 3 things to do if you have been arrested are:

  1. Find a qualified criminal defense lawyer
  2. Only speak with your attorney
  3. Maintain a low profile until your court appearance

Which is worse, a misdemeanor or felony?

A felony is the term used for more severe crimes. A misdemeanor refers to lesser crimes. Felonies carry higher penalties, such as longer jail time, as well as much higher fines.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

When a crime has been committed, it will be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is considered a “lesser” crime, while a felony is a more serious crime.

Examples of a misdemeanor include:

  • Drug possession
  • Drunk driving
  • Shoplifting
  • Simple assault or battery
  • Trespassing
  • Vandalism
  • Prostitution
  • Resisting arrest

Examples of a felony include:

  • Arson
  • Homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Rape
  • Aggravated assault
  • Robbery
  • Grand theft auto
  • Fraud

Do all felonies require jail time?

A felony conviction will carry with it at least one year in prison. Based on the severity of the crime, the prison sentence can be reduced as part of a plea deal to a misdemeanor carrying only time in jail or probation.

Does a felony ever come off of your record?

No. A felony stays on your criminal record for your lifetime particularly because of the seriousness of a felony offense, often having been a violent crime, along with the thorough process of a felony conviction. 

The only way to eliminate a felony conviction from your record is through the process of expungement. In the event of violent felonies, it is highly unlikely to be granted an expungement. In the State of Nevada, you may have the option to “seal” your records, depending upon the severity of the crime committed. The process is lengthy and involved and likely requires the assistance of an attorney to make it possible.

What is expungement?

When a criminal record is expunged, it is erased as if it has never occurred. This can sometimes be granted to what are considered “youthful offenders” who show they have been rehabilitated.

Does a felony record make it impossible to get a job?

It may make it difficult to get certain job positions; however, having a felony on your record does not mean you will not be able to get a job. In some states it has been banned to have any questioning on job applications regarding whether an applicant has had a felony conviction. In the State of Nevada, an employer is permitted to ask if an applicant has been arrested or convicted of a crime. In all states, employers can do background checks on potential or current employees and find out their criminal history in that way.

If you’ve been accused of committing a crime, the first thing you must do is speak to a criminal defense attorney. At The Defenders, our attorneys help you understand the situation you are in, as well as what to expect next. They are committed to protecting your rights no matter what crime you are being accused of. Their focus is to develop a strong defense and aggressively defend your case. We are able to explain immediate and future consequences of actions you may take, including talking to the police, pleading guilty, and testifying at trial. Contact The Defenders today.

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