People who are arrested and charged with a criminal offense are sometimes unsure about how to protect their rights. Many times, allegations lack merit, are based on tenuous witness accounts, or are the result of overzealous law enforcement. Accused individuals may find themselves quickly entangled in the criminal justice system.
Prosecutors in La Vista aggressively pursue criminal convictions, so it is crucial to retain knowledgeable legal representation from an experienced attorney. Seek the assistance of a seasoned La Vista criminal defense lawyer who can carefully review the evidence and circumstances in your case and work to create a comprehensive defense strategy.
Misdemeanors Versus Felonies
Criminal activity in La Vista can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-106 outlines seven classes of misdemeanor offenses, each with varying penalties. A Class I misdemeanor carries the most significant penalties, including a maximum one-year prison sentence and a $1,000 fine. Individuals who receive a misdemeanor conviction will be incarcerated at a local facility, which in the La Vista area is the Sarpy County Jail.
There are 10 felony classes. Class I felonies are punishable by death, and a Class IA felony carries a life sentence in prison. The majority of prison sentences imposed for felony convictions are served within one of the 10 state correctional facilities managed by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Service. Felony convictions have some collateral consequences, including losing the right to serve on a jury, hold a public office, or possess a firearm. A convicted felon is also ineligible to vote for a two-year period.
Procedural Overview for Criminal Cases
Misdemeanor cases are processed through the Sarpy County Criminal Court, while felonies are heard in the Sarpy County District Court. A judge hears most misdemeanor cases, but a jury trial is permitted if the charges may result in jail time.
Most criminal cases in La Vista do not proceed to trial; rather, achieving a resolution is often part of a plea agreement between the defense and prosecutor. Fortunately, one of our skilled lawyers can work to get your criminal charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Probation or community supervision may be ordered in addition to or instead of jail time. The maximum duration is two years for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony offense. Those on probation must adhere to certain rules and requirements handed down by a judge, and a failure to do so can result in additional penalties.
Contact a La Vista Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Being convicted of a criminal offense has serious ramifications. Commonly imposed penalties include incarceration, probation, community service, fines, and court costs. Individuals with a criminal record may encounter challenges when seeking employment or leasing housing units.
Following an arrest, it is important to consult with an attorney who is familiar with fighting criminal allegations in court. An experienced La Vista criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the local justice system while protecting your rights and acting in your best interests. Call Berry Law today to talk to a lawyer about your case.