Accused individuals may find themselves facing felony or misdemeanor charges and may wonder what the significance of one over the other is and what the difference is. Any type of criminal charge is serious, but it is helpful for accused individuals to know what they are facing when confronted with criminal charges of any type.
Felony charges are generally considered more serious criminal charges than misdemeanor criminal charges, but that does not mean that misdemeanor charges should not be taken seriously. Felony charges are generally considered crimes of moral turpitude and include murder, rape, kidnapping, arson, burglary and some others. Both felony and misdemeanor charges may be further categorized by severity depending on the state.
In addition, the difference between felonies and misdemeanors relates to the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing. Felony charges are typically punishable by a year or more in prison and steep fines.
Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are generally punishable by a year or less in jail and may also carry fines and other penalties and consequences. The potential penalties and consequences accused individuals are facing are not limited to potential incarceration and fines, and can include some others, which is why accused individuals need to be familiar with criminal defense options.
Individuals who have been accused of committing a crime and are facing criminal charges face a huge possible negative impact to their personal and professional lives that can implicate their freedom and future. Whether the accused individual is facing felony or misdemeanor charges, they can benefit from a strong criminal defense strategy to protect both them and their interests.