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Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Baldwin County, Alabama

We know that being accused of a crime is a stressful situation that can impact every aspect of your life. It's not just about legal penalties; it's about your reputation, your job, your family, and your future. That's why we're committed to providing compassionate, personalized legal services for our clients. Regardless of the circumstances, we at Kesling Law Firm believe everyone deserves a fair shot at justice. Our team, led by attorney Joshua G. Kesling, is here to stand by your side, offering guidance, support, and vigorous representation.

We work tirelessly to ensure that our clients throughout Baldwin County and the Alabama Gulf Coast are informed about their rights and the legal procedures they face. If you are in or near Baldwin County, Alabama, reach out to us today for support.

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Criminal Charges in Alabama

In Alabama, the spectrum of criminal charges is broad, encompassing a variety of offenses that can carry serious consequences. At Kesling Law Firm, we offer comprehensive legal services and robust defense strategies for a wide array of charges, including but not limited to murder, domestic violence, theft, and more. We strive to provide our clients with the necessary information and representation to navigate these charges, ensuring they understand their rights and the potential legal ramifications.


Misdemeanors in Alabama are crimes that are less severe than felonies but more serious than infractions. They are punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine. While misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies, they still carry significant penalties and can have long-lasting effects on your life.

  • Class A Misdemeanors: These are the most serious misdemeanors in Alabama. They include offenses like third-degree burglary and second-degree assault. Conviction of a Class A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and a fine up to $6,000.

  • Class B Misdemeanors: Crimes under this include harassment or possession of marijuana for personal use. Penalties can include up to six months in jail and a fine up to $3,000.

  • Class C Misdemeanors: These are the least serious type of misdemeanor, including offenses like disorderly conduct or third-degree criminal trespass. A Class C misdemeanor can result in up to three months in jail and a fine up to $500.

Please note that these are general guidelines, and the actual penalties can vary depending on the specifics of the case, criminal history of the accused, and other factors.


Felony charges in Alabama cover more serious offenses and are punishable by more than one year in prison and/or substantial fines. Similar to misdemeanors, felonies are also classified into different classes.

  • Class A Felonies: This class includes severe crimes such as murder, first-degree kidnapping, and first-degree robbery. Upon conviction, individuals could face a prison sentence of 10 to 99 years or life, and a fine of up to $60,000.

  • Class B Felonies: Crimes such as first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, and second-degree kidnapping fall under this category. If convicted, the penalties can range from 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

  • Class C Felonies: Crimes like second-degree assault, theft of property, and third-degree burglary are considered Class C felonies. These can result in a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years and a fine of up to $15,000.

It's important to note that factors such as past criminal records, use of a deadly weapon, the age of the victim, among others, can influence the severity of the sentence.

Alabama Criminal Court Process

The Alabama criminal court process typically unfolds in several steps:

  1. Arrest and Booking: An individual is taken into custody by law enforcement based on probable cause or a warrant. They are then booked, which involves taking down their personal information and the details of the alleged crime.

  2. Initial Appearance: Within 48 hours of being arrested, the accused appears before a judge for their initial appearance. They are informed about the charges against them and their rights, including the right to an attorney.

  3. Bail Hearing: The court determines whether the accused can be released from jail before the trial. Factors considered include the severity of the alleged crime, the accused’s criminal history, and their risk of flight.

  4. Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Proceedings: For felony charges, a preliminary hearing is held where the prosecutor presents evidence. The judge then decides if there's enough evidence to proceed to trial. Alternatively, a grand jury may review the evidence and decide whether to indict.

  5. Arraignment: The accused formally enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges.

  6. Pre-Trial Motions and Plea Bargaining: Both the defense and prosecution can file pre-trial motions. Additionally, plea negotiations may take place during this stage.

  7. Trial: If a plea agreement is not reached, the case proceeds to trial. Both sides present evidence and witnesses, after which the jury or judge delivers a verdict.

  8. Sentencing: If the accused is found guilty, the judge determines the appropriate sentence based on the crime's severity and the accused's prior criminal history.

  9. Appeals: If the convicted party believes there was a legal error during the trial, they have the right to appeal the decision. If your charge occurred in a state court, the appeal goes to the State Court of Appeals. If your case occurred in federal court, the appeal goes to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The justice system is complex and can be overwhelming for those who find themselves involved in it. Our lawyer at Kesling Law Firm is dedicated to guiding you through the complexities of the Alabama criminal justice process. We believe in your right to a fair trial and will passionately advocate on your behalf, ensuring your rights and interests are protected at every step. Facing a criminal charge can be daunting, but remember, you are not alone — we are here to support you. Don't hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation.

The Appeals Process

The appeals process in Alabama begins when the convicted party (now referred to as the "appellant") files a notice of appeal. This must be done within 42 days of the sentencing date. The appeal is not a retrial or a new trial of the case. Rather, it is a process where the appellant seeks a higher court's review of the lower court's decision, arguing that a legal error was made during the trial.

The appellant's attorney will submit a brief to the appellate court detailing the alleged errors made during the trial. The prosecution (the "appellee") also submits a brief in response. In some cases, oral arguments may be presented before the appellate judges.

Following review, the appellate court can affirm the lower court's decision, reverse it, or remand the case back to the lower court for further proceedings. If the appellant is unsatisfied with the appellate court's decision, they may seek further appeal with the Alabama Supreme Court. However, it's important to note that the Supreme Court only selects a limited number of cases for review each year.

Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Baldwin County, Alabama

Don't face these charges alone. At Kesling Law Firm, we're here to fight for you, advocating on your behalf and working tirelessly to protect your rights and your future. Reach out to us today and let's discuss your case. We're always ready to stand with you in your time of need. We extend our reach from Mobile Bayway to Daphne, Spanish Fort, Malbis, and Loxley, all the way to the Perdido River and various locations along the Alabama Gulf Coast.