When a person is charged with a crime, there are several different categories that the crime could fall into. These categories show the severity of the crime.
The main two categories are known as misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are the most severe of these two categories. misdemeanors carry a punishment of 12-month in prison at the maximum, whereas felonies usually involve more than 12 months in prison as a punishment.
What are some examples of felonies?
A person is usually charged with an assault when the victim receives physical harm from the interaction. However, if a person made a threat of assault but did not follow through, he or she is likely to be charged with a misdemeanor.
Similarly, in an incident where a person commits the crime of theft, the severity of the crime will be determined by the amount stolen. Petty theft of a small amount of money will likely be a misdemeanor. However if a person steals over $500, it is very likely that he or she will be charged with a felony.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
The biggest difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the length of time that you are likely to spend in jail. There are also differing types of felonies and misdemeanors that can affect your sentence.
If you are being charged with a crime that you think could lead to a felony, it is important to take action and research the consequences of the crime that you are being accused of so that you can defend yourself adequately.
Source: Your Dictionary, "What Are Examples of Felonies and Misdemeanors?," accessed Nov. 24, 2017