When someone commits a felony charge it is generally a more serious type of crime. This guide will explain what a felony is and what type of crime would be considered a felony. Each state will have its own set of punishments for these crimes.
In the United States crimes are divided within two categories Misdemeanors and felonies. The major difference between these two would be the maximum punishment. Misdemeanors carry a max of one year of jail time while felonies have punishments in excess of 12 months of prison time.
What crimes are considered to be a felony
Generally, felonies will include the following types of offenses:
- Attempted murder
- Child abuse
- Money laundering
- Child pornography
What is the minimum sentence for a felony
Have you ever heard of the saying the punishment should fit the crime? With that said felonies typically carry harsher sentencing versus misdemeanors because they are more severe in nature. Because both the state and the federal government have sentencing guidelines for a judge to consistently ensure a defendant with similar criminal histories get close punishments.
Class of a felony will play a role in the sentencing
Generally speaking, a felony offense typically carry with it a one year in a prison sentence. Federal felony crimes are split up into different classes. These classes will increase the maximum sentence based on the severity of the crime committed. They are as follows:
Class “A” Felonies: The most Serious
These are the most serious offenses and can also carry a life sentence without parole. These are also eligible for the death penalty
Class”D” through “B” Felonies:
They are serious crimes that can carry prison time from six years to 25 years.
Class “E” Felonies:
The least serious, but still carry a prison time from one to three years.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony
As we stated above the first major difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge is that a Felony typically carries with it a harsher and longer sentence because of the nature of the crime. Misdemeanors are typically less jail time, smaller fines, and temporary punishment. A misdemeanor usually carries the potential for jail time that is less than one year.
Federal sentencing guidelines classes for a misdemeanor:
Class A misdemeanor: On year or less, but typically more than six months in jail.
Class B misdemeanor: Six months or less, but typically more than thirty days in jail.
Class C misdemeanor: Thiry days or less, but typically more than five days in jail.
If you or someone you know is facing either a misdemeanor or only charge you should speak to an attorney. They understand criminal charges and can help with seeking the best outcome in your case.
Example of a misdemeanor and a felony
Assault is a good way to explain the difference of a crime that could be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the level of severity. Threatening to harm someone but not taking action and actually harming someone would be classified as a misdemeanor. This could have jail time of six months to a year.
The opposite of this would be if the assault happened at had bodily injury or when a weapon was used in the assault. Prison time would be from one year to 25 years for this type of felony charge.
Can a felony charge be changed to a misdemeanor?
Another word for this would be called a “wobbler” This is when an offense can be charged as either a felony or as a misdemeanor violation. There are a few offenses that a prosecutor could choose to charge as a felony or a misdemeanor. This will also depend on a few things like the defendant’s history of criminal activity.
If someone can be charged with a felony charge but it can also be charged as a misdemeanor a judge may be asked to reduce the charge down to a misdemeanor. This is where having a criminal attorney who knows the laws in your area will benefit you tremendously.
How to locate criminal records online?
Try and locate criminal records like felony charges online by using a first and last name. The use of a search service is a great way to locate and find all types of public record data quickly.
BeenVerified background check service searches through billions of records and dozens of databases.