A misdemeanor is distinguished from a felony in a number of ways. As a
rule, the type of crime is differentiated by the amount of time you could
spend in jail. Knowing the difference can help you understand how long
you could potentially go to jail if you’re accused and convicted
of a crime.
Did you know that a misdemeanor is defined as a crime that is punishable
with up to a year in jail? You may not have to go to a high-security prison
if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, which means you could go to a local
jail instead. In some states, a misdemeanor is instead defined as not
being an infraction or felony, which means in those states it can be harder
to guess the amount of jail time that you could receive.
A felony is the most serious kind of crime, and it’s treated much
differently than a misdemeanor. They are defined by having prison terms
longer than a year, but punishments can extend to life-long sentences.
Courtrooms must be careful to protect the person being charged, because
mistakes could mean long sentences that aren’t deserved by the person
Felonies are most typically crimes such as murders, homicides, burglaries,
arson, kidnappings, rapes and other serious or violent actions. Felonies
can also be given for lesser crimes for multiple offenses, though.
If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, it’s
important to protect your rights. You can take steps to prevent the media
from running amok with your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney
can provide additional information about felonies and misdemeanors.