Felony Criminal Charges: Your Defense
Our firm understands that being charged with a crime is a scary experience for most people... and felony criminal charges are the scariest. You need someone on your side to help you get through this situation. We are here for you.
If you would like to speak with a criminal defense attorney or schedule a consultation with Daniel Hurst, contact us at (859) 209-2101.
What is a Felony in Kentucky?
Felonies are criminal charges that carry a punishment of more than one (1) year in prison. In Kentucky, we have four (4) classes of felonies.
- Class A Felonies: Punishable by a minimum of twenty (20) years up to a maximum of fifty (50) years of incarceration.
- Class B Felonies: Punishable by a minimum of ten (10) years up to a maximum of twenty (20) years of incarceration.
- Class C Felonies: Punishable by a minimum of five (5) years up to a maximum of ten (10) years of incarceration.
- Class D Felonies: Punishable by a minimum of one (1) year up to a maximum of five (5) years of incarceration.
Legal Process for Felony Criminal Charges in Kentucky
There is more variability to how a felony charge can proceed than for misdemeanors. Felony charges can be initiated in either the District Court or the Circuit Court. The most common path is that you will be arrested and taken to the local jail. Typically, you will be given an amount of bail that you can post, as a bond, to be released shortly after arriving at the jail. However, this can vary depending on the severity of the crime and your history with the criminal justice system. If you can post bond, then you will be allowed to remain out of jail while your case proceeds through the courts.
Shortly after you are arrested, you will appear before the District Court for your arraignment. At your arraignment, you will be formally read the charges against you and asked to enter a plea. Assuming you plead not guilty, you should have a preliminary hearing within ten (10) days if you are incarcerated or twenty (20) days if you are out on bond. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if probable cause exists to believe that you committed a crime. If the District Court finds that probable cause exists, then your case will go to the Grand Jury.
The Grand Jury
The Grand Jury is a closed-door proceeding where the Commonwealth Attorney’s office presents the evidence they believe demonstrates the guilt of the defendant. If the Grand Jury believes there is probable cause to believe you committed the crime, they will issue an indictment against you.
Once you are indicted, the case transitions to the Circuit Court where you will be arraigned again.
After your second arraignment, the process varies slightly depending on the jurisdiction where you are indicted. For the most part, the court will schedule a series of pre-trial conferences and status conferences. If a plea agreement is not reached, you will be entitled to a trial by jury. At trial, the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will have to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You are innocent until proven guilty.
If you are found guilty by the jury, you will have what is called a sentencing hearing. Depending on the facts of your case, this can be as simple as the attorneys making arguments to the Court, or it can involve the calling of witnesses similar to a second trial.
Specializing in Criminal Defense
To better serve our clients, our attorneys specialize. Our attorney who specializes in representing client's with felony criminal charges is Daniel Hurst. Daniel's specialization in criminal defense means he will help you to understand what is happening with your charge. He will take the time to explain the criminal process so that you know what to expect next.
This means you can be an active participant in your own defense. He understands that the felony charge you are facing is one of the most important things going on in your life and that you need and deserve his undivided attention.
How Hurst & Hurst Law Can Help
Daniel’s goal is always to find the best possible resolution for his clients. But when representing someone charged with a felony, he knows the job requires more than that -- especially for people who have never been through the criminal justice system before.
Daniel feels that, aside from competence as a lawyer, the most important thing about an attorney is whether you feel comfortable having them represent you. For this reason, Daniel takes the time to explain the process to you and does everything he can to help make the process less intimidating.
If you have been charged with a felony and you are interested in having Daniel represent you, please call Hurst & Hurst Law at (859) 209-2101.