Felonies and Misdemeanors

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    A felony is a serious crime for which the possible maximum sentence is more than one year in prison. Some common felonies include the following offenses:

    • Murder
    • Robbery
    • Arson
    • Sexual assault
    • Grand theft auto
    • Kidnapping
    • Aggravated assault
    • Extortion
    • Home invasion
    • Possession or distribution of narcotics
    • Bribery
    • Wire fraud
    • Embezzlement
    • Perjury
    • Tax evasion

    A misdemeanor is an offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment not in excess of one year may be imposed. Even though misdemeanors carry shorter jail times than felonies, they can still be just as serious. Some common misdemeanors include the following offenses:

    • Driving while license suspended
    • Disorderly conduct
    • Assault and battery
    • Domestic violence
    • Larceny
    • Retail fraud
    • Reckless driving
    • Minor in possession of alcohol
    • Possession of narcotics
    • Loitering

    Some offenses may be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on certain factors. For example, possession or distribution of narcotics could be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount of drugs involved. Larceny, retail fraud, and similar offenses would depend on the value of the property taken. Similarly, in some situations a misdemeanor offense can rise to the level of a felony if the suspect has previous convictions or if there are other aggravating circumstances.