Written By: Robert King, Esq.
Legal Review By: Greg Colavecchia, Esq.
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Rochester, NY Felony Charges

Let Our Rochester Criminal Defense Lawyer Protect Your Rights & Future

Felony charges should be taken very seriously. Not only does a felony conviction result in lengthy prison sentences and expensive fines, but it can also be subject to enhanced sentencing and a criminal record that could have a negative impact in every aspect of your life.

If you were recently arrested and charged with a felony in New York State, King Law is dedicated to helping you either get your case dismissed entirely or your charges reduced. Our Rochester criminal defense attorney has taken over 75 felony cases with 42% dismissed and another 41% with reduced sentencing.

How Much Prison Time Is Sentenced For Felony Convictions In NY?

Felonies are the most serious offenses in New York and can generally be defined as the crimes for which you can be sentenced to more than one year in state prison.  However, not all felonies are created equal and they are further broken down by separate classes of felonies ranging from the least serious, a class “E” felony, to the most serious, a class “A” felony.

Furthermore, there are certain felonies designated under the law as “violent felonies” and others as “non-violent felonies.”  It does not actually matter whether any violence ensues from the alleged conduct.  For example, if someone unlawfully enters the home of someone else while they are not home and steals a television, the law classifies that as a “violent felony” even though the perpetrator did not even encounter another individual.  Violent felonies carry harsher sentences than non-violent felonies.

The following is a comparison charge of all NY felony charges:

Class A Violent Felony (A-I & A-II) : Life sentence without parole

Class B Violent Felony : 25 Years

Class B Non-Violent Felony: 25 Years

Class C Violent Felony: 15 Years

Class C Non-Violent Felony: 15 Years

Class D Violent Felony: 7 Years

Class D Non-Violent Felony: 7 Years

Class E Violent Felony: 4 Years

Class E Non-Violent Felony: 4 Years

Not All Felony Convictions Result in Incarceration

Although all felonies carry potential prison sentences of one year or more, not all felony convictions result in incarceration.  There are a variety of other potential sentencing options, such as probation, Drug Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Treatment Court depending on the severity of the felony that you are charged with.

For someone charged with a felony drug offense or a felony which was committed to support a drug addiction, there is the possibility of a Judicial Diversion Program to obtain substance abuse treatment and to ultimately have the charges reduced or dropped altogether. In addition to these potential sentencing options including prison, being convicted of a felony means that you may be stripped of certain personal rights, such as the right to vote and the right to possess a firearm, or the requirement that you register as a sex offender.

Some examples of crimes which are considered felonies under New York felony law:

Some examples of crimes which are considered felonies under New York felony law:







Rape Sexual conduct with a child

What Happens After Being Charged With a Felony?

After being charged by the police, the District Attorney’s Office in the jurisdiction will assign a prosecutor to your case, generally more experienced prosecutors handle felony cases. After being charged by the police, your case will likely be presented to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury is a group of approximately 20-23 people who are serving jury duty who are tasked with listening to the evidence in the case as presented by the prosecutor and deciding whether or not there is sufficient evidence for the charge to go to be indicted. That is, if there is sufficient evidence for you to continue to be prosecuted. If the Grand Jury decides not to indict the case, your charges will be dismissed. If the Grand Jury decides there is sufficient evidence, an Indictment will be filed in superior court.

It is important to recognize that every case is different.  Just as not every felony charge results in state prison, not every felony case is presented to the Grand Jury.  In some situations, the best result may be to engage in plea bargaining in an attempt to come to a resolution prior to the case being presented to the Grand Jury.  This may result in a reduced charge or a reduced sentence.   These strategic decisions should take place after you receive a copy of your discovery package from the prosecutor.  Your discovery package will include all police reports, witness statements, photographs, videos, and other evidence in the possession of the police.  Under the new amendments to the New York Criminal Procedure Law that became effective January 1, 2020, most discovery must be turned over within fifteen days of your first appearance in court, also known as your arraignment.

Call (585) 270-8882 To Get Experienced & Skilled Legal Counsel Today

There are numerous strategic decisions and investigative tools that can be put in place at the outset of a felony case that could impact whether or not you are ultimately indicted, or worse, convicted. You should always speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your case.

We are proud to have obtained numerous positive case outcomes for our clients throughout the years. Our legal team can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, use the help of expert witnesses, and build an effective defense strategy just for you. Do not risk fighting these serious felony charges without our experienced legal representation.

Contact us and schedule a free, confidential consultation.