Criminal Attorney in Spanish Fort, Alabama
For over five years, Brennan Clifton has successfully defended the wrongfully accused against criminal charges in State and Municipal Courts in Spanish Fort, Alabama and the surrounding areas. If you or a loved one has been arrested and is awaiting trial, give us a call immediately and let us get to work on your defense.
What to expect when you are accused of a crime in Alabama
If you get charged with a crime in Spanish Fort or the surrounding areas in Baldwin County, most of the time you will immediately be arrested and taken into custody. When this happens, you will either be transported to the Baldwin County Jail or, depending on the agency involved, the city jail in whatever town you are arrested in.
When booked into the jail, you have the right to be seen by a judge within 48 hours of arrest if you have not been able to bail out of jail. Judges are required to set “reasonable” bonds in criminal cases. However, a reasonable bond does not necessarily mean it has to be one that you can afford. The bond the judge will set is often associated with the severity of the criminal charge filed against you. Judges are free to set certain conditions specific to the particular facts related to your arrest (e.g. drug testing, GPS monitoring, no contact orders, curfew, etc). Judges can also release Defendants “on their own recognizance,” and as such, no bond has to be paid to be released.
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies: What is the Difference?
The main difference is that Misdemeanors are crimes for which the maximum punishment does not exceed one (1) year in jail and Felonies are crimes for which a person can be incarcerated for more than one year. The maximum fine for a misdemeanor (Class A) is $6,000.00. and the maximum fine for a felony (Class A) is $60,000.00.
Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction vs. Felony Conviction
Apart from the penalties discussed above, there are other differences between misdemeanor and felony convictions in relation to the life altering effects they have.
A Misdemeanor Conviction is generally considered less “serious” than a felony conviction. Most background checks will pull up misdemeanor convictions. A misdemeanor conviction will not always disqualify you from certain employment, and often it does not. However, there are certain careers you can be disqualified from based on a misdemeanor conviction.
A misdemeanor conviction does not take away your right to vote. However, a misdemeanor conviction involving a crime of violence (e.g. Assault in the 3rd degree) or a Domestic Violence charge will prohibit you from possessing a firearm for the rest of your life. If you get arrested for misdemeanor assault or any type of domestic violence charge, it is imperative that you consult an experienced criminal attorney in Alabama.
A Felony conviction is generally considered to be more serious than a misdemeanor charge since the minimum range of punishment is more than one year in prison. Felony convictions are no joke and can have serious impacts not only on a person’s freedom, but on their career and their civil liberties. If convicted of a felony, a person will no longer be able to vote or possess a firearm in Alabama. Most of the time a felony conviction is an automatic disqualifier for certain jobs, particularly involving public service, state and federal government jobs, law enforcement, the medical field, etc. A person in the professional workforce licensed by a particular governing authority will often be stripped of their licensure upon a felony conviction either temporarily or permanently.
Whether you wear a blue or white collar, if you work hard and your family depends on you to put food on the table, getting charged with a Felony in Alabama is serious business. If you ever have to hire an attorney for any type of reason whatsoever, NOW is the time to seek out an experienced criminal lawyer in Alabama.