Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

MLH&A

MLH &A

Michael L. Hawkins
& Associates PLLC

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The importance of reducing a felony charge to a misdemeanor

In Kentucky, a felony conviction can impact your life long after you serve a mandatory prison sentence lasting a minimum of one year and often longer. However, although misdemeanor convictions can also send you to prison for up to one year and lead to monetary fines, their impact on your life may be less severe.

Reducing the charge against you from a felony to a misdemeanor can help you avoid numerous complications throughout your life.

Which felony crimes may be eligible for misdemeanor sentencing?

In Kentucky, and most states, only the lowest category felony crimes are eligible for recategorization as misdemeanors with lesser sentences. These crimes do not include the most severe Class A and Class B crimes or repeat offenses throughout the classification system that carry mandatory penalties.

How can a felony charge impact your life?

In addition to leading to a lengthy prison sentence, a felony conviction can impact your life and finances despite your efforts to reform. For example, serving a felony sentence before completing your education could determine your acceptance to a school or curtail the federal financial assistance you depend upon to pay for it. You may also find it challenging to secure a job when you do not qualify to obtain a mandatory license or potential employers are unwilling to extend offers after discovering your criminal record. Finally, a felony criminal conviction can impact your housing choices and cancel your child custody or visitation arrangements.

Although a misdemeanor or lesser felony charge will remain on your record for years, under certain circumstances, it may be possible to erase it to prevent its long-term impact on your life.