what is considered a felony

Do you often encounter the word felony? The terms felony and misdemeanor are often interchanged, causing confusion and misunderstanding. Whether you work in the legal industry or wish to better understand your state’s laws, we got you.

Let’s give you a summary of what is considered a felony. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Considered a Felony?

A felony is any criminal offense for which the penalty is one year of imprisonment or longer, or even by death. These are crimes that tend to be violent and can pose a danger and harm to society.

By contrast, a misdemeanor is an offense punishable by less than one year in prison. A misdemeanor refers to a lesser crime, a petty offense, or minor wrongdoing.

What Are the Different Classes of Felony?

States classify felony offenses based on the gravity of the crime. State classifications vary according to the guidelines on how to categorize felony offenses. You may be wondering, what is a class A felony, and how does it differ from other classes?

Illinois labels crimes of the highest degree as Class X. In other states, this corresponds to Class A or Class 1. First-degree murder would fall into this category.

Classes differentiate the defendant’s sentence. As the crime moves away from Class A or Class 1, the severity of punishment decreases.

Thus, in Illinois, a person who commits a Class 4 felony has a sentence ranging from one to three years. This is in accordance with the Department of Corrections. While in Class 1 felony, a person’s sentence ranges from four to 15 years.

What Are Examples of Felony Charges?

Local laws and the circumstances around the crime determine which are felony offenses. Examples include property crimes such as grand theft, arson, and vandalism. Another example involves the distribution, selling, or trafficking of drugs.

Sex crimes such as sexual assault and human trafficking are also considered felony crimes. Murder and robbery are examples of violent felony crimes. There are also white-collar crimes such as embezzlement and securities fraud.

Tax evasion can also fall into this category. Searching for criminals, inmates, arrests, and the most wanted is easy with jailexchange.com. It strives to provide the most comprehensive information about jails and prisons around the world.

What Is a Felony Charge?

A felony charge is different from a felony arrest. A felony charge means the defendant enters into an official legal proceeding before a court initiates the charge. While a felony arrest is when the suspect is in custody based on the faith that they committed the felony.

What Is a Capital Felony?

A capital felony is a crime punishable by the death penalty. The defendant, if convicted, can be subject to life imprisonment or death sentence. Murder and sexual assault are the most common capital felonies.

Defining What is Considered a Felony

We’ve presented a summary of what is considered a felony. Educating yourself about the different laws starts with learning a new term. Exploring other law concepts will help you understand the legal consequences involved.

If you’re interested to know more about felony expungement, check out other blog posts! We have more great content for you to discover.

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