What is a Felony

Felonies are crimes often deemed to be more serious in nature, and a guilty conviction of a felony often times results in a person being incarcerated for at least a period of one year. This incarceration, rather than being carried out at a local jail, will be done in a prison, and often this sentence is accompanied by hefty criminal fines.

Having a felony arrest on one’s criminal record may prove to be damaging if the charges go un-expunged.  Criminal background checks are done in a variety of different situations, from applying for a job to renting a home or apartment, and often a felony charge on one’s criminal record will hinder their ability to move on after a sentence is served.

Felony Arrests and Felony Charges

A felony arrest differs from felony charges greatly. When a person is arrested on a suspicion of committing a felony, the arrest is considered to be a felony arrest whether charges have been brought forth or not. Should the person be found innocent of the felony suspected, their criminal record will not be marred with a felony charge.

A felony charge is in place once the court proceedings have begun. The district attorney of a particular state will begin the formal process of charging one with a felony, and they can be determined guilty or not guilty of the felony at the end of their trial.

States will generally use one of two methods when pressing felony charges; one is to bring the case before a grand jury to determine if one is guilty or innocent of the felony, and the other is by a prosecutor’s complaint. These two methods are used to determine if there is enough evidence available to bring the suspect to trial, and if it is determined that there is, a trial will begin.

Felony Expungement

Felony expungement means clearing one’s criminal record of felony charges or a felony arrest. A felony arrest is much easier to have removed from the record than felony charges, but both are possible and the qualifications vary from state to state.

For most states, filing a felony expungement request is something of a process. A request to have a felony charge or arrest expunged must first be filed with a local judge, as some felonies are ineligible, and not all requests are accepted to be determined. Filing one of these requests will often also cost a fee, and a person must make sure that their sentence and fines have been paid as well as served before filing in their state. If a person is placed on probation in regards to their sentence, their probation time must also be completely fulfilled without violations before a request may be successfully filed and determined.

Felony expungement often also involves a waiting period after a sentence has been served, but this will vary from state to state. This waiting period can be as great as 10 years, and a person may find themselves ineligible to have their records cleared before this period of time has passed.

The likelihood of a felony being expunged is directly linked to the seriousness of the crime. Nonviolent or less serious felonies are the most likely to be successfully cleared from one’s criminal record, while violent or sexually based crimes are often more difficult or ineligible altogether. Although these crimes will vary on a state basis, they are most commonly:

  • •          Felonies involving a minor
  • •          Rape
  • •          Sexual battery
  • •          Corruption of a minor
  • •          Child pornography

Reducing Felony Charges To Misdemeanor Charges

It is possible to have felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges if one is equipped with the right lawyer for representation. Not only are the sentences and fines for misdemeanor charges less severe than that of a felony, but misdemeanors are also significantly easier to have expunged.

The crimes that are most likely to be reduced to misdemeanor charges are often deemed as “wobblers” by a variety of states, and this means that they wobble between the lines of being a felony or a misdemeanor. These crimes are mostly nonviolent, and with the help of the right lawyer for representation, it is not uncommon for these “wobbler” charges to be reduced.

A misdemeanor typically looks better than a felony on one’s criminal record, and misdemeanor charges will often come with less harsh sentences. Where a felony charge will typically warrant a year or more in prison, a felony charge brought down to a misdemeanor conviction will usually result in time spent in a local jail facility.

Hiring a Lawyer for Felony Cases

It is always recommended that any person facing felony charges hire a skilled lawyer to assist them with their case. This lawyer will be able to assess the situation from a law standpoint to determine the likelihood of reduced charges, expungement, and a sentence that is in the best interest of his or her client.

For felony expungement filings, it’s important to seek out a who lawyer specializes in having cases successfully expunged. Consulting with one of our lawyers will give one the information they need to determine if their charge is worth the effort and cost of filing for an expungement. These lawyers will also often help a client in filing for this complex procedure, making the process much easier and more understandable for the person wanting their criminal record cleared.


Beat a Speeding Ticket Defense in Delaware

In the state of Delaware, speeding on the public roads is serious. Repeat offenders could lose their driver’s license indefinitely and first-time offenders could face a stiff fine or even jail time. A speeding ticket defense is something that too many people take lightly. They think that they can just go to the scheduled court session, plead their case to the court and get a reduced sentence. Too many people find out that traffic court is not the walk in the park that they thought it was.

When you stand before a judge in traffic court, you are standing before someone who has been trained to punish speeders as much as possible. If you have too many tickets, then you may find your driving privileges revoked and you will need to go through a long process just to get them back. In the meantime, you will have to find another way to get around that fits into your schedule and everyone else’s schedule.

An arrest due to speeding can lead to consequences that the driver may have never thought of. Some of the more immediate consequences include:

  • A heavy fine
  • Loss of license
  • Higher insurance premiums

What if you lose your license due to speeding? Not only is the process to get it back long and involved, but you will have to make plans to get around without the ability to drive. You will have to find a new way to get to work, new ways to go shopping for food, a different way to pick the kids up from school and a whole new way to get around on the weekends.

The problem is that too many people in Delaware take their driving privileges for granted. Once people get a license, they think that they will always have it. That is not true at all; especially if you are a speeding repeat offender. But if you take the time to hire a good attorney from the very beginning, then you have given yourself a good chance at beating the ticket and staying out of long-term trouble.

The people who feel that they can just make a few phone calls and their speeding ticket will go away are always shocked when those phone calls yield no results at all. Instead of wasting time trying to call in favors you probably do not have, your best bet is to contact an experienced defense attorney right away and let him take care of your ticket in a legal and efficient manner.

There is a lot more to a speeding ticket defense in the state of Delaware than most people may realize. The first thing that your attorney has to do is determine whether or not you have any outstanding tickets that have turned into warrants. It is common for people to lose track of these kinds of things and finding them out when you are standing in front of a judge is not the best time. This includes parking tickets or any other kind of legal challenge that could cause a problem with your defense.

Your attorney will work with you to straighten out these other issues before going to court and addressing your speeding ticket. It is hard to appreciate the comprehensive nature of good legal representation until you have been arrested in front of a judge for warrants that you had forgotten about. A good defense lawyer takes care of all of the details before getting on to the challenge of dealing with your speeding ticket.

If you have had multiple speeding tickets in the past, then you need to hire an attorney to help you with your most recent one. Even if you have taken care of all of your past tickets, they can still come back to haunt you in open court. An experienced lawyer will know how to present your case in such a way that your past indiscretions may not even be an issue. But if you do not have the necessary experience in arguing speeding ticket cases, then you will not be able to keep your past from affecting your future.

Insurance premiums are a huge consideration for people with speeding tickets. Your attorney will know ways to try and change your speeding ticket into some form of ticket that will not cause your insurance to skyrocket. Repeat speeding offenders will often find it difficult to keep car insurance as many insurance companies drop drivers who rack up consecutive speeding tickets.

You need insurance to be on the road in the state of Delaware. Without insurance you cannot legally register a vehicle and if you are in an accident without insurance then you could be facing a large civil lawsuit. The cascade of problems that come from losing your insurance due to speeding tickets would be just one more thing you would have to deal with on your driving record.

Protecting your rights and your financial future are just two good reasons to hire a defense attorney the moment that you get a speeding ticket. There are several consequences to a speeding ticket that could cost you a lot of money and aggravation in the future. If you hire a good defense attorney, then he will know the procedures to follow to try and lessen the impact of the ticket and help avoid all of the negative problems that can occur when drivers in Delaware get pulled over for speeding.


Hockessin Man Arrested After Police Follow Trail of Child Porn Online

A Hockessin man was arrested Tuesday by members of the state Child Predator Task Force and accused of distributing child pornography after an investigation led officers to his computer.

Daniel Ryan Cooke, 26, of Michelangelo Court, was charged with 25 counts of dealing in child pornography, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

Cooke, who was employed during the 2012-2013 school year as an assistant junior varsity soccer coach for the Hornets at the Tatnall School, was being held in the Vaughn Correctional Institution after he failed to post $1.5 million bail.

An undercover investigation into file-sharing programs containing child pornography led officers to search Cooke’s home early Tuesday.

Detectives seized several computers and assorted other media and electronic devices and took Cooke into custody for questioning.

A forensic review of the seized items revealed several files of child pornography that included one video of an elementary-age girl engaged in sex acts with an adult male, Miller said.

Cooke told investigators that he built his computer that was password protected and acknowledged downloading a file-sharing program to acquire child pornography, police said in court records.

“He admitted that he has been doing this since approximately 2002,” when he would have been 15 years old, according to court records.

Cooke told detectives that he downloaded about 100 images of child pornography on Monday.

According to court records, the videos contained images of “young females from 7-years-old up to 17-years-old having vaginal, anal and oral sex with adults.”

Mike Morgan, a spokesman for the Tatnall School, said Cooke was hired in the fall to coach the boys junior varsity soccer team and had no contact with him since the season ended on Nov. 1.

“That’s not a full-time position, just in the afternoon for a couple hours and game time,” Morgan said.

Prior to hiring Cooke for the part-time position, the school conducted a background check and “it came out clean,” he said.

Source: Delaware Online


Delaware State Police Investigating Crash with Vehicle and Man Rollerblading

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.-The Delaware State Police is investigating a crash where a man who was rollerblading was seriously injured on Saturday night.

A preliminary investigation suggests that a man was rollerblading on the shoulder of westbound Rehoboth Avenue just west of Church Street. Police said he was hit by a vehicle, which continued traveling westward after the collision.

The victim was transported to Beebe Hospital and then flown to Christiana Hospital, where he was admitted in serious condition with injuries to his head and torso.

The Delaware State Police is asking anyone who may have any information in reference to this incident to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at Troop 7 at (302) 644-5020 extension 117.

Citizens may also provide a tip by texting keyword “DSP” plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES), or through lines maintained by Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333. Information can also be submitted through the internet at www.tipsubmit.com.

Leaving the scene of an accident is a very serious crime in Delaware. If you are facing charges such as these call The Law Office of John R. Garey to discuss your rights. You can also email the firm here.


Harrington Man Arrested with Fourth Drunken-Driving Offense

A 46-year-old Harrington man was arrested and charged Wednesday with his fourth drunken-driving offense after being stopped for a traffic violation, police said today.

Thomas J. Lepera was charged with his 4th DUI offense, failure to have insurance identification in his possession, failure to have either his driver’s license or registration in his possession, two counts of failing to remain in a single lane and failing to signal a turn, said Lt. Earl Brode.

Officers stopped Lepera on Commerce Street for a traffic violation, and when they walked up to his car, they noticed the odor of alcohol coming from it, Brode said.

When officers tried to administer sobriety field tests to Lepera, he refused to take them and refused to blow into the intoxilyzer, Brode said.

Lepera was taken to Milford Memorial Hospital, where he had his blood drawn, and was then taken back to Harrington police headquarters to be charged.

A computer check revealed that Lepera had three prior drunken-driving convictions, Brode said.

He was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution after failing to post $4,006 secured bail.

Syndicated from Delaware Online


Five Teenagers Charged with Robbing and Kidnapping Old Woman

Five teenagers – ages 14 to 17 – were charged with robbing and kidnapping an 89-year-old Lincoln woman, locking her in the trunk of her own car for nearly two days and then releasing her in a cemetery, where she was found Wednesday morning crawling around on her hands and knees, state police said.

Police called Junia McDonald, 14, and Jackeline H. Perez, 15, both from Milford, the “ringleaders” in the incident, which began sometime after 11 a.m. Monday at the Chicken Man convenience store at Marshall and S.E. Second streets in Milford.

That’s where, police say, the girls approached the elderly woman and asked her for a ride to the Lincoln area.

The victim agreed to give the girls a lift. When they reached their destination, McDonald and Perez allegedly ordered the woman to hand over her keys. She refused, and a struggle ensued, said Master Cpl. Gary Fournier.

The girls took the keys, Fournier said, forced the woman into the trunk of her tan 2001 Buick LeSabre and drove off.

“They opened the door and shoved me in the trunk and locked it,” the victim told WPVI –TV. “I banged and banged and banged.”

At one point, police said, Perez stole $500 from the victim’s coat pocket.

Fournier said the woman remained in the trunk throughout the nearly two-day ordeal, in near-freezing temperatures and without food or water.

About 4 p.m. Tuesday, the girls were joined by Rondaiges A. Harper and Phillip L. Brewer, both 17, from Bridgeville. Police said the four drove the stolen car to the Days Inn in Seaford, where they rented a room for the night. They left the woman in the trunk of her car.

By 9 that night, a relative of the victim had contacted state police to report her disappearance. The relative said the woman, who has a medical condition and requires medication, had not been seen or heard from since about 11 a.m. Monday, when she drove away from her Slaughter Neck Road home. Troopers issued a Gold Alert.

Meanwhile, the teens were driving around in the woman’s car and at some point dumped her off in a desolate cemetery east of Seaford and abandoned her, Fournier said.

Syndicated from Delaware Online.

13 Year Old Boy Charged with Offensive Touching and Criminal Mischief

A 13-year-old boy was charged Sunday in connection with a playground altercation at Lake Forest South Elementary last year, Harrington police reported today. The incident in September initially was reported as a sexual assault, but after the victim was interviewed detectives determined there was no such assault, Lt. Earl K. Brode said. He said the boy damaged a girl’s phone , grabbed her by the arm and pulled her off some playground equipment, causing her to fall to the ground. The boy was charged with offensive touching and criminal mischief under $1,000, Brode said. He was released into the custody of his parents pending an appearance in Family Court. If you are facing criminal charges contact The Law Office of John R. Garey at 302-744-9290. You can also email Mr. Garey here.


Laurel Home Raided, Child Pornography Charges Follow

An investigation in the distribution of child pornography online in Maryland has led to the arrest of a Laurel man whose home was raided Thursday, authorities said.

Angelo F. Perri, 48, of the 12000 block of Whitesell Road, was charged Thursday with 11 counts of dealing in child pornography, said Jason Miller, spokesman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

The investigation was initiated by an investigation by the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who had linked a child pornography distribution ring to Delaware.

Members of the Delaware Child Predator Task Force obtained a warrant Thursday to search Perri’s home and seized a computer and digital evidence from the home and took two residents in for questioning.

A review of the evidence seized revealed multiple child pornography files including a video showing a young girl between 6 and 8 years old engaging in a sex act with an unidentified man.

Perri is being held in the Sussex Correctional Institution in lieu of $660,000 cash bail.

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130208/NEWS01/302080077/Laurel-man-faces-child-porn-charges


Facing Criminal Charges in Delaware?

An arrest for robbery, burglary or any crime or will change your life forever. Call The Law Office of John R. Garey at 302-744-9290 if you are facing drunk driving, robbery or other criminal charges in Delaware. You can also email the firm here.

http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130202/NEWS01/302020066/Two-suspects-sought-armed-robbery-Dover-liquor-store