Crimes are divided into two different categories known as felonies and misdemeanors. Many people do not understand that there are many differences between felonies and misdemeanors because they simply look at the crime and what it entails. However, much more goes into this than just the severity of the crime. Now you can find out the difference between the two, what types of crimes relate to both, and what you should expect if you receive either for your crime.
Felonies and Misdemeanors: A General Overview
Felonies are very serious crimes that can be divided into different degrees. These can include the following:
- Assault: If the assault is severe enough and causes serious injuries, it could result in a felony charge. During an assault, there will usually be a case of serious physical violence and it could even include that which occurs with a gun or knife.
- Battery: This is when someone actually causes another person harm with either a weapon or their fists.
- Arson: This is when somebody sets fire to a building or natural area.
- Rape: You have committed this crime if you engaged someone in non-consensual sex.
- Murder: This occurs when you kill another person.
Misdemeanors can be divided as well. Here are some examples of these:
- Speeding: Disobeying the posted speed limits can lead to sentencing.
- Trespassing: If you have unlawfully intruded onto someone else’s property, you have trespassed. This is different from burglary.
- Vandalism: This is the intentional destruction of another person’s property.
- Public Intoxication: This occurs when you appear drunk in public. You will typically only be arrested if you are acting unruly.
Differences Between the Two
The most typical difference is that misdemeanors are less serious than felonies in nature. You may find that, if you receive a misdemeanor, you will spend minimal time in jail in many circumstances and substantial fines. Those who commit a misdemeanor will usually only see a year in jail if that. Some misdemeanor crimes do not carry jail time at all. If you would serve jail time, you would do so in a local or county jail, rather than a state or federal correctional institution. If you have to go to court for a misdemeanor crime, you will have a right to an attorney or be appointed one if you cannot afford one yourself.
Felonies are treated much differently. You are more likely to equate the most serious crimes like murder, aggravated assault, and much more to felonies. Felonies will carry the largest fines and the longest prison sentences, and in some cases the defendant may even be sentenced to death depending on the state and the circumstances. You will most likely serve your entire length of time in a state or federal correctional institution, such as a prison or a penitentiary. Your felony will usually result in a trial by jury and the circumstances of the case will determine how many jurors are involved with your case. The penalties of a felony will most likely affect you for the rest of your life. You may be barred from certain actions forever, such as voting, teaching, working in a law profession, or carrying a firearm.
Have you been convicted of a serious crime and wonder what charges you will be facing? Call us today for more information on how we can handle your case. We will be there for you through it all.