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Many people who have been charged with a felony aren't fully aware of what to expect. They may experience fear and uncertainty, and buy more than a little anxiety going forward. While no case is the same, there are some practices that attorneys use to help lessen the blow on your career and your life.

This guide will offer you some information about what to expect when it is time for you to go to court, how bail works, and many other things. This can be a confusing time so we hope this guide helps reduce some of your confusion.

What is a felony?

Felonies are the most serious crimes in the United States. They usually involve violence or the destruction of property, and they can be punished by lengthy prison terms and steep fines. Many felonies are categorized according to the severity of the crime: first-, second-, third-degree, and fourth-degree felonies.

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

It depends on where you live, what state you're in, and whether you've been charged with a federal crime or an offense under state law. Some states classify certain offenses as misdemeanors rather than as felonies; others classify certain crimes as misdemeanors but prosecute them as felonies under federal law.

A misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony but still carries penalties that can be serious if not handled properly. Misdemeanors usually carry sentences of up to one year in jail or less than $1,000 in fines. Examples include shoplifting and drunk driving offenses such as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Understand the severity of a felony charge

If you're charged with a felony, it's important to understand the severity of that charge. Felonies are serious crimes, which can lead to prison time and other punishments if you're convicted. If you think you may be facing felony charges, it's important to speak with an experienced Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who can help evaluate your case and explain the legal process.

Could the record ever get expunged?

In some cases, it may be possible to have your record expunged after a felony conviction. An expungement means that all records of your conviction will be sealed so that they are not visible to anyone who does not have access to law enforcement databases. This includes:

  • The court file;
  • The police report; and
  • Any public records associated with your arrest or conviction.

How does bail work?

Bail is money that you must post to be released from jail while awaiting trial. If you fail to appear at court or violate any terms set by the court, they can use the bail money against you as payment for the charges.

How long is my trial date?

If you've been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, then there will be some time between when charges were filed and when the trial begins. This period may last anywhere from days to months depending on whether or not there are continuances or delays in scheduling hearings. 

The Medlin Law Firm
1300 S University Dr #318, Fort Worth, TX 76107
(682) 204-4066


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