Delaware Criminal Lawyer

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Criminal law, also known as penal law, involves prosecution by the government of a person who has committed, or is suspected of having committed, an act classified as a crime. Criminal law also covers the classification system. There are a variety of classes of crimes, but all crimes can be divided into felonies and misdemeanors.

Felonies are the more serious of the two, and include such crimes as murder, rape, arson, aggravated assault, kidnapping, treason and grand theft. Felonies are generally punishable by a sentence in a state or federal prison, and can be of any duration from one year all the way up to life imprisonment. The imprisonment can be either with or without the possibility of parole. Those people who have committed felonies are also subject to fines, community service sentences, required participation in a rehabilitation program, such as for anger management or drug or alcohol treatment, and supervision by the government outside of a prison, such as probation or parole. Convicted felons may have their civil liberties taken away, as well as lesser privileges like the right to vote, the right to hold public office, the right to hold certain professional licenses, and the right to possess firearms or ammunition.

Misdemeanors are less serious crimes. Some common misdemeanors include prostitution, simple assault, disorderly conduct, drug possession, prostitution, and public drunkenness. Misdemeanors are also defined as crimes that carry less than a one-year sentence in jail. Misdemeanants are usually incarcerated in a local or county jail. Misdemeanants also may be sentenced to pay a fine, attend a rehabilitation program, perform community service, and lose privileges, such as a driver's license for certain motor vehicle offenses.

Sometimes a misdemeanor can be upgraded to a felony if the circumstances warrant, for example if the person in question has committed and been convicted of the same misdemeanor several times. There are also certain crimes that can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the intent or severity. Drug-related crimes, for example, can be misdemeanors if they defendant is only in possession of a small amount of a drug for personal use, whereas if he or she has a large amount of the drug and appears to have the intent to sell or traffic that drug, it can be considered a felony.

There are other kinds of cases such as civil cases, that involve individuals and organizations seeking to resolve legal disputes. Persons found liable in a civil case may only have to give up property or pay money, but are not incarcerated. If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from the crime then will have to hire a Delaware criminal lawyer or attorney to help you with your case. Even if the person was not convicted and you feel they should have been, and you want to sue them for damages, you should hire a Delaware civil lawyer or attorney.

Delaware criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law. A Delaware criminal lawyer or attorney will typically have a private practice concentrating on criminal law.

If you have been involved in a crime and you have been arrested, you must request an attorney or contact a private criminal lawyer or attorney immediately. There are many things to look for when hiring a Delaware lawyer or attorney. A good criminal attorney will be familiar with important laws of the state of Delaware, as well as with court interpretations of federal and state constitutions.

Delaware attorneys will also be familiar with the customs and procedures of handling a case, from the initial questioning and arraignment all the way through to the trial and appeal, if there is one. You can rest assured that your attorney will do his or her best to defend you, and to make sure that you are treated fairly within the justice system.

If you are ready to contact a Delaware criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The ABA offers free access to their lawyer locater, which can help you search for a criminal lawyer or attorney in Delaware.