Felonies The most serious types of crimes are referred to as felonies. The usual definition is that a felony is any crime that may be punished by more than a year’s imprisonment or death. The punishment defines the offense as a felony. When crimes charged are more serious, the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney to help a defendant throughout the process becomes even greater. Believe it or not, some people who are convicted of a crime and end up on prison were falsely accused. Although the American criminal justice system works in most cases, not all juries get things right, and the consequences can be tragic. An innocent party pays the price for something he or she did not do while the guilty party remains free. The best way to avoid such an unjust result and ensure the proper outcome when faced with criminal accusations is to immediately seek counsel from the best criminal defense attorneys available. Skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyers know their way around the criminal justice system and can navigate through the complex procedures to ensure the fairest possible conclusion. Theft Offenses When a person is charged with theft, it means that he is suspected of the unlawful taking of property that belongs to another with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. Theft includes crimes commonly known as larceny, embezzlement, robbery, shoplifting, using false pretenses to obtain property, identity theft, extortion, fraud, car jacking, and computer access theft. The exact charges will depend on the circumstances that surround the alleged offense. What all these offenses have in common is the allegation that property has been taken without the consent of the owner. A conviction of a theft charge can involve serious penalties, but there are many defenses available to a person who has been charged. If you have been charged with theft or a theft-related crime, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, the lawyers of Mooney & Associates. By contacting an attorney as soon as possible, you increase your chances of mounting a successful defense or even avoiding more serious charges that could be brought later. An expert criminal defense attorney can be working on your defense as soon as you contact him. The gravity of theft offenses are distinguished by the value of the items taken, the location of the offense, and how the theft is accomplished. A person may be arrested for theft even though he never intended to steal. For example, people have been charged with shoplifting when they have put an item in their pocket or purse, fully intending to pay for it, but forgetting before leaving the store. A theft conviction can have far-reaching ramifications including denial of employment or professional licenses, or the rights of citizens such as to vote and carry firearms. The criminal defense attorneys of Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law, have experience in handling theft cases, and will help you understand your options. We understand your need for confidentiality and will help you resolve this matter. Many theft-related offenses can be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies. A prosecutor may charge both a felony and misdemeanor. For example, a robbery, which is a theft by use of force is a felony and a very serious charge. However, the state may also charge a lessor theft charge in case the felony cannot be proven. If contacted in the early stage of the case prior to the preliminary hearing, an experienced criminal defense attorney, the attorneys of Mooney & Associates, may be able to get the more serious charge dropped. Whether an act is charged as a misdemeanor, a felony, or in some cases, a summary, may all depend on whether you have a prior conviction. For example, a summary conviction for shoplifting raises the grading for a subsequent shoplifting offense to a misdemeanor. Therefore, a first-time offender may be charged with only a summary, but a subsequent offense may be a misdemeanor. The police may arrest you for a theft if they have probable cause to believe that you committed the crime. The elements of the crime must be proved by the prosecution at the preliminary hearing for the type of theft alleged. If you are accused of a theft, it is crucial that you seek the services of an experienced defense attorney who knows the law as soon as possible. At trial the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed a theft. The available defenses may include the lack of intent because the defendant was not aware that the property belonged to someone else or reasonably believed that he was entitled to the property. In may cases there may be mitigating circumstances that will reduce or even eliminate your criminal guilt. The criminal defense attorneys at Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law, will help you reach an appropriate resolution to theft charges exploring all options and using them to your advantage while protecting your rights. Theft laws can bring very severe penalties that can change your life forever. If you are facing criminal charges, you need the aggressive defense presented by the lawyers of Mooney & Associates, an experienced criminal defense firm. Assault Offenses An assault is conduct that causes another person to reasonably believe that they are in danger of immediate harm or unwanted bodily contact. If you have been charged with assault, it is very important that you obtain the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. There are many defenses to charges of assault, and contacting an attorney as soon as charges are filed will allow evidence to be evaluated and witnesses questioned while everything is still fresh. The skillful criminal defense lawyers of Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you get through this complicated process. For an assault to occur, the person charged with assault must have intended to make the bodily contact or inflict injury on the person assaulted and must have had the apparent ability to do it. The attempt must be open and obvious, in such a way that the person assaulted fears that he will be physically injured. If the assault includes the use of a dangerous weapon, or if the attempt is made to cause death or serious bodily injury, the crime is called aggravated assault, and this is a felony. If the injury is minor or is done without a weapon, the crime may be classified as a simple assault a misdemeanor. There are also special categories of assault such as sexual assault. Assault is also the threat of violence upon another person. An assault that is not accompanied by aggravating factors such as the use of a weapon is usually classified as a misdemeanor. The aggravated assault can include an attempt to attack another person with the use of a weapon (gun or knife) or the use of hands, fists, or feet. Charging a person who uses hands, fists, or feet with aggravated assault happens most often when serious injuries have resulted. The decision of whether to charge a person with simple assault, a misdemeanor, or aggravated assault, a felony, rests with the prosecutor. The attorneys of Mooney & Associates, if contacted prior to the preliminary hearing, assist in getting the assault charge dismissed or to minimize its impact to the greatest extent possible. A person need not be actually injured for an assault to have occurred, but injuries may provide circumstantial proof that the assault was aggravated as compared to simple. The extent of an injury may also prove the defendant’s intent to commit an aggravated assault such as an assault with the intent to rape or murder. The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law can establish that the prosecutor has not proved all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor, or district attorney, shoulders the responsibility of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the assault was committed. There are many possible defenses to an assault charge. An assault may be committed as a means of self-defense or in order to defend another person. When a reasonable person feels threatened by an attack, that person may use reasonable means to prevent injury. Sometimes an assault is committed in order to defend property. The person charged with the assault may even have had no intention of committing the assault such as with accidental actions are misinterpreted by the person claiming to have been assaulted. In many cases mitigating circumstances will exists which may reduce or negate criminal culpability. Not all cases of assault are clear-cut. This is why you need to contact the attorneys of Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law, to prepare an aggressive defense to your assault charges. Being charged with assault can lead to very serious consequences, including jail time, probation or parole, significant fines, or loss of rights such as to own a weapon. The prosecutor has a great deal of discretion in deciding whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony. However, being convicted of a misdemeanor assault can still have serious consequences, in that it will remain on your record for life and may impact your ability to obtain a good job. If you are accused of assault, you should contact the lawyers of Mooney & Associates, Attorneys at Law, immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the legal system.