What Is the Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony?

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Dealing with criminal charges can put you in a highly unfavorable position. Today, 33% of people in the United States have a criminal record. Arrest charges are worrisome both during the legal process and often well beyond it. 

If you are facing any sort of charges, it’s important that you learn as much as you can about the differences between misdemeanors and felonies. 

This article will help you learn the difference between misdemeanor and felony charges so that you can plot out your case with a skilled lawyer. 

A Felony Is the Highest Crime

The most stark difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime is that the felony is the highest offense. These are the types of charges that you never want to face, and will never want to have on your record. 

Felonies are broken down into multiple classes:

  • Class A: The possibility of the death penalty or life behind bars
  • Class B: Convictions result in at least 25 years behind bars
  • Class C: Convictions range between 10 years and 24 years, 364 days behind bars
  • Class D: Convictions range between 5 years and 9 years, 364 days behind bars
  • Class E: Convictions result in at least a year behind bars, but less than 5 years

Working with a personal injury lawyer on your criminal charges can help you get organized and will ensure that you’re managing the details to the best of your ability. 

Felonies Have Longer Sentences

The key difference between misdemeanors and felonies also lies in the sentencing. With a misdemeanor, the time behind bars is always less than a year. 

A criminal felony results in time in prison of a year or more. Felonies also have more expensive fines and other potential penalties. 

The Crimes Are Different Categories

When you research the differences between a criminal misdemeanor and a felony, you will also notice that the types of crimes are drastically different. The magnitude of the crimes is more severe when you’re dealing with felonies.

For instance, misdemeanors might include shoplifting, reckless driving, and minor drug possession charges. Felonies might include charges like murder, armed robbery, and assault and battery. 

They Have Different Long-Term Implications

When you are dealing with a West Virginia felony, you need to also understand the long-term implications of the charges. These sorts of convictions often follow people for the rest of their lives. 

For example, people can lose voting rights, have difficulty finding employment, and overall live with a stigma. To avoid these implications, you need to do your best to hire a lawyer who can represent you in your case. 

The Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

Now that you know the difference between misdemeanor and felony cases, make sure you have the help of professionals that can represent you. 

Michael McDonald Cary has the legal experience, compassion, and strategy needed to help you with any case you’re dealing with. Cary Law Office is based in Charleston and supports all sorts of clients in and around the area. 

If you’d like to reach out for a consultation, contact us online or call (304)804-6369 to go over the details of your case. 

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