Felony vs. Misdemeanor: What's the Difference?

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When it comes to criminal charges, there are two types of charges: felonies and misdemeanors. Each type of charge carries different penalties, and it's important to know the differences between them. If you're facing criminal charges or are in the middle of a criminal case, this blog post will help you understand the difference between felonies and misdemeanors.

Felony Charges

Felony charges are serious crimes that can result in significant jail time, hefty fines, and other significant penalties. Examples of felony charges include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and embezzlement. These charges require substantial resources by the government and can take years to prosecute.

If you're charged with a felony, it's important to secure competent legal representation to help you navigate the complicated legal system. A good criminal defense attorney can help build a case that will help you obtain the best possible outcome.

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanors are considered less serious charges compared to felonies, but they should not be taken lightly. Misdemeanors carry less serious penalties compared to felony charges, but they can still result in fines or jail time.

Examples of misdemeanor charges include disorderly conduct, driving under the influence or DUI, and simple assault. Misdemeanors are usually punishable by fines or short jail terms, usually less than a year.

Degrees of Felonies and Misdemeanors

Both felonies and misdemeanors can have degrees, which can add or reduce penalties. For example, a first-degree felony is typically considered more severe than a third-degree felony. Likewise, a first-degree misdemeanor may carry more significant penalties than a second-degree misdemeanor. Charges are typically classified based on the severity of the crime committed and the presence of aggravating factors like prior criminal history or weapons involved.

Plea Bargaining

In most criminal cases, the defendant is allowed to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution. A plea bargain usually involves the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge, resulting in less severe penalties. Plea bargaining is an effective way for defendants to avoid the risk of a more severe sentence. A competent criminal defense attorney can help you determine if striking a plea bargain is right for your case.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Knowing the difference between felonies and misdemeanors is important when facing criminal charges. It can affect the penalties you receive and the defense your legal team will build for you. The best thing to do when facing criminal charges is to get an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the legal system. They will help you negotiate, build a strategic defense that ensures the best possible outcome, and protect your rights. Remember, criminal charges can significantly impact your life, and it's always best to take them seriously.