If you have been accused of a crime, you may know that there is a difference between misdemeanor and felony charges but may wonder what that difference is. Felony charges are the most serious type of charges an accused individual can face. Felonies may be divided into classes and penalties associated with a felony charge may vary according to the class of felony charged.
In general, a felony charge is punishable by a year or greater in prison, while a misdemeanor is punishable by a year of less in jail. This is one way to distinguish the more serious felony charge from a less serious misdemeanor charge, however, all criminal charges should be regarded with seriousness. Individuals facing felony charges can also expect to face possible fines associated with the charges in addition to possible jail time.
Traditionally, felony crimes are crimes involving moral turpitude and are considered to violate the moral standards of society or the community. Felony charges can have a significant negative impact on the accused individual’s life in a variety of ways. When facing felony charges, accused individuals should be prepared to challenge the charges they are facing which may be accomplished by challenging alleged evidence, facts or witness statements being used against the accused individual.
Important criminal defense rights protect accused individuals against searches and seizures that may be unlawful and ensure they are not required to incriminate themselves and that they receive adequate representation. It is important for accused individuals to know how to protect themselves through their criminal defense rights if they find themselves facing felony charges.
Source: Criminal.findlaw.com, “Felonies,” Accessed Nov. 2, 2017