What Are the Types of Felonies?

Understanding the nature of felony crimes can help you steer clear of legal trouble. This is especially true if you’re currently facing or expect to face felony charges. Felony charges are serious offenses with significant consequences. Prison time is but one of many serious results felony charges invite, but it isn’t the only one.

Hands-on experience can help you understand these criminal offenses. In this case, though, keeping your own hands clean is the best option. That’s where Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC comes into play. We can help to protect you from the burdens that felony charges can include. Contact us today to learn more. 

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What Are Felonies?

Felonies are severe criminal offenses. While misdemeanors generally lead to mild punishments, felony crimes bring much harsher consequences. Unlike misdemeanors, which are less serious crimes under federal and state laws, most felonies come with the possibility of going to prison. As a result, many convicted persons spend years of their lives incarcerated.

Felonies in State and Federal Law

Understanding the difference between state and federal law is an important step toward understanding how to protect your rights. When a person is charged or indicted with a felony offense, their case will usually be heard in one of two court systems—state or federal. In both court systems, felony convictions carry serious consequences, including prison time. 

While the states divide felony prosecutions within the state’s jurisdiction, federal laws pursue offenses that violate federal statutes. Conversely, federal felonies often pertain to crimes that occur across state lines, white-collar crimes, or trafficking across borders. Because of the differences in jurisdictions, penalties for state and federal felony convictions can vary greatly.

What Are the Legal Penalties for a Felony Conviction?

Felonies invite stern penalties. Felony sentences vary widely, and most sentences don’t result in the maximum penalty. Sometimes, sentences can be on par with misdemeanor offenses, resulting in fines, probation, a small stint in the county jail, or a suspended jail sentence. 

Most of the time, though, the defendant is made to carry a heavy legal burden. Capital offenses may result in the death penalty, while other violent crimes lead to life imprisonment in state penitentiaries. Maximum penalties often involve significant prison time, and certain civil and professional licenses are often suspended or revoked. 

What are Some Additional Consequences of a Felony Conviction?

The aftermath of felony convictions brings tough challenges. Prison time isn’t the only punishment people face. Convicted felons often face a range of consequences beyond legal penalties, such as social stigma and difficulties in finding employment or housing. Prior convictions can compound these challenges, potentially impacting one’s reputation and relationships.

As felony convictions carry serious societal implications, the repercussions can be far-reaching. Understanding the gravity of these convictions is crucial for navigating life post-conviction. It’s important to recognize that felony convictions can lead to long-term consequences that extend beyond the initial legal penalties.

What Are Some Examples of Felonious Offenses?

Felonious offenses are serious crimes that come in many forms.  Crimes like first-degree murder, robbery, assault, and burglary to be the most well-known violent or victim related felonies in the legal system. Nonviolent offenses like drug possession and fraud charges like obtaining property under false pretenses are felonies that state and federal prosecutors are known to levy.

Often, a crime that otherwise wouldn’t be a felony will be upgraded once factors like the involvement of a deadly weapon or harm to a police officer are introduced. This means that many would-be misdemeanors are turned into felonies within the slightest variance as the crime is committed. This is how many felony charges are born.

Different Felony Classes Explained

Understanding felony classifications aids in navigating legal proceedings and comprehending the severity of charges. Federal and state laws typically dictate these classifications. The classification system ranges from class E felonies to class A felony offenses. Each class of offense comes with a distinct range of penalties, but generally, class A crimes are the worst.  

Felony classes are tiered, with the more harshly judged felonies grouped together. Different offenses tend to fall under different categories. For instance, a class A felony, like murder, is a more serious crime than a class D felony, like possession of a controlled substance.

What Should You Do If Charged With a Felony?

If facing a felony charge, whether it’s coming from the state or federal government, securing legal representation is a top-tier priority. Consulting with a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in felony offenses can protect you from lengthy prison sentences, and the stigma of being branded a criminal.

Firms like Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC can fight for you. We understand your rights as a defendant and know how to navigate the complexities of criminal charges. It’s our expertise in criminal law that turns felonies into misdemeanors.

When you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, contact Kirsch & Kirsch, LLC to explore your options. Our experience with serious felonies can help you avoid a prison sentence or something worse. Call today to arrange a free consultation.Your freedom or that of a loved one could depend on it.