In the event you have been charged with a criminal offense in New York City, there are a few vital things you must always be aware of. While its important to avoid the food in central bookings as much as humanly possible, the two most important things to be aware of include, the type of a crime they say you’ve committed and what the specific charges are, as well as the current location of your attorney. Before we delve deeper into these things, its important to understand legal issues. There are two types of offenses in this country, essentially, criminal ones and civil ones. Civil “charges” are usually much easier to deal with as they generally don’t often come with the possibility of life in prison, but criminal charges occur when an individual has broken the law in some form or fashion. And today we will be touching on a type of criminal offense known as a misdemeanor, essentially, the middle ground in the world of criminal charges. As one of NYC’s best criminal defense attorneys, Ms. Yanina Tabachnikova, Esq. has helped defend countless individuals from a myriad of criminal charges, from the most severe of crimes, to the pettiest of infractions, more often than not, coming out victorious and helping her clients to the justice they deserve. A lifelong New Yorker, with many years of experience under her belt, she has truly seen it all, and not only uses her understanding of the law, and her experience in practicing it, but her relationships and connections to her advantage both inside the courtroom and out of it! No matter how dire your straits might be, or how simple, she and her team will do their absolute best to see you free, happy and beside your family, without the dark cloud of the legal system hanging over you any longer. Learn more about misdemeanor charges below.
What is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by a fine and incarceration in a local county jail, unlike infractions which impose no jail time. Many jurisdictions separate misdemeanors into three classes: high or gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors usually contemplate a jail sentence of less than six months and a fine of $500 or less. The punishment prescribed for gross misdemeanors is greater than that prescribed for ordinary misdemeanors and less than that prescribed for felonies, which customarily impose state prison. The fact is that avoiding a felony charge is the first key step to freedom, and while she has defended plenty of those, Ms. Tabachnikova is tactful enough to generally help clients charged with misdemeanors to avoid jail time, especially when it is their first offense. However, for other states, like Minnesota in its state misdemeanor laws, even define a gross misdemeanor as “any crime that is not a felony or a misdemeanor.”
Flexibility in Misdemeanor Punishments
The important thing to understand with any charges is that you are in other people’s hands for certain things like being charged. If a judge is having a bad day, while he might not be able to switch most misdemeanors into direct felonies, he can sometimes add enhancements, that will allow the DA to charge a misdemeanor, but punish an individual like it’s a felony. But, generally, in the vast majority of cases, once the D.A. or the judge chooses to treat a crime as a misdemeanor or a felony, the appropriate rights and consequences then attach to the charge and the court will then follow either the misdemeanor or the felony trial and sentencing procedures for the charge. In the state of New York, things can sometimes get a bit dicey – even with misdemeanors!
Most of these are simple charges like shoplifting of minor stuff, and others such as:
Allowing Your Dog Biting Someone
The maximum punishment for any misdemeanor New York is twelve months of incarceration in a local jail. Jail time is usually reserved for an A class misdemeanor in New York. A New York class A misdemeanor is usually assigned jail time as it is one step down from a felony. Should the courts go lightly (a non-custodial disposition) for a class A misdemeanor in NYS it would or could give off the appearance of being light on crime, perhaps even encourage crimes—at least, this is the position of those involved in the legal culture of New York. Class A misdemeanors are charges such as assault, theft, and drug possession. Depending upon the severity of the crime and the amount of prior offenses, the class A misdemeanor New York penalty can be assessed. For example, a non-violent offense such as possession of marijuana would most likely not receive jail time whereas assault would. Many people are under the mistaken assumption that a misdemeanor with no priors will not result in jail time. This is not true. The county, the ADA, the crime itself and your attorney all factor in when it comes to what sort of disposition you will receive for your offense. Certain counties are far more inclined to impose mandatory jail terms for your class A misdemeanor offense. This is sometimes due to finances, and its easily snuffed out when you have got a top flight lawyer like Ms. Yanina Tabachnikova, on your side! She and her team of legal pros will walk you through each and every step of the legal process, doing their best to obtain you a not guilty verdict!
There are also class B misdemeanors, which are generally much less severe than class A – while class A charges generally face a max of 1 year in jail or 3 years of probation, generally less for a first timer. But a class B is far less, and maxes out at 3 months in a local jail and 1 year of probation. But with the help of an attorney like Ms. Tabachnikova, she will turn any case into a strong one, and fight tooth and nail for your freedom – at absolutely any cost! These types of crimes are often things like drunk driving, and situations where while it’s a bit worse than just a ticket, but rarely would anyone truly want to put you in jail. However, historically certain areas such as Nassau & Suffolk County Long Island are known to want to drum up financial incentives from such issues, as a heavy speeding ticket and a DUI, or being intoxicated being the wheel – which many would agree with.
The thing that’s most important to educate clients on as a criminal defense attorney is that whatever they do, no matter what risks they might want to take with their freedom or the fines they are willing to pay, just don’t mess with the feds! As an attorney, and one of the best in the field of criminal defense law, Ms. Tabachnikova often educates her clients on the federal governments, 97% conviction rate, many people actually argue that its closer to 99% and in many cases, individuals will end up doing 1-5, even more years in their local jail anyway, federal bail amounts can be much higher and unreasonable compared to more local courts. And a serious trial with tons of moving parts will usually take years, as they go through certain pre-trial considerations and discovery, then await their actual trial which in some cases itself will take over year or much more, the trial itself, which has a penchant for being dragged out or delayed.
Then, in the federal system you might see a mistrial, with the prosecution wasting time before undoubtedly attempting to retry the individual – by the way, this game can be played for years. Or in the event the defendant loses, and decides to try for an appeal and gets it, or doesn’t and contacts other agencies, takes the case to the supreme court. You can end sitting in jail for a decade, only to be proven innocent years later without so much as a sorry from the prosecutor who stole your youth! Federal law on misdemeanors follows the strict federal sentencing guidelines. The federal guidelines are applied rigidly pursuant to the federal sentencing guidelines manual’s sentencing chart. The chart incorporates fixed values for severity of offense, defendant’s criminal history, and other aggravating factors. The federal sentencing chart also applies fixed adjustments and departures for established mitigating factors like law-enforcement cooperation and early acceptance of responsibility. Federal Class A misdemeanors are those crimes punishable by 6 months to a year of jail. Federal Class B misdemeanors impose 30 days to 6 months jail. Class C misdemeanors impose 5 to 30 days jail. Crimes punishable by fewer than 5 days jail are federal infractions.
Consequence of Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors, unlike infractions, are often considered crimes of moral indecency as they threaten jail rather than mere fines. This distinction gives a convicted misdemeanant significantly reduced chances for a scholarship or a good job. Nowadays, even a dismissed or uncharged arrest for a misdemeanor can destroy a person’s future job prospects. For this reason, it’s often best for someone charged with a misdemeanor to voluntarily return to the same court and ask for a “certified finding of factual innocence” to show to future employers.
The thing you must understand is that the legal system in NYC isn’t something to play with and unless you come equipped with the help of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, who has your best interesting in mind, no matter what! Contact the Law Offices of Ms. Yanina Tabachnikova, today!