In the U.S, the federal government defines a felony charge as a crime that can be punishable by death or a prison sentence of up to a year. If the crime committed is punishable by a year or less this charge is considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges are considered to be less serious charges than felonies. These charges are considered to be less serious because they usually involve less jail time and lesser fine amounts. State by state the individual differences between misdemeanor charges andfelonies often differ. The charge applied is usually decided based on the context and specific details of the particular case.
Felony charges involve a series of steps within the process. Following the actual act of the offense an arrest will be made. Then you will be required to attend an arraignment. During the arraignment the statement of charges filed against you will be read. This is the moment when you plead either guilty or not guilty. You may either be taken into custody or released on bail. After the arraignment your attorney while try to arrange a plea deal with the prosecutor. This is a very crucial point in your case. Your attorneys ability to strike a plea bargain with the prosecutor can lead to a pleasant outcome or a less favorable one. For this reason, it is advisable that you hire a seasoned attorney with experience in this practice area. Seeking wise and experienced legal counsel can lead to a more favorable outcome for your case.
There are hundreds of crimes that fall under the felony category in the U.S, both violent and non-violent. The most commonly committed felony charges are listed below:
1. Drug abuse
Drug abuse charges are the most common felony charges. These charges can include:
- possession-knowingly possessing a controlled substance without a prescription or license.
- distribution-intent to sell or provide an illegal substance
- manufacturing-growing, possessing, or producing natural elements to make an illegal substance
2. Property crimes
Property crimes are defined as crimes in which property is taken without consent of the owner
- burglary-illegally entering a structure with the intent of committing an offense(usuallytheft)
- larceny-unlawfully taking property that belongs to someone else
- vandalism-defacing public property usually in the form of graffiti
- grand theft auto-attempting to steal or successfully stealing an automobile
Driving under the influence is another common felony offense. Both drug abuse and DUI charges are so popular that most law enforcement departments expend most of their resources and time on these charges. DUI charges are very serious because not only do they earn you fines, jail time, and defensive driving classes they can also result in serious injury for you and other drivers.
If you have been charged with a felony and are seeking legal counsel, contact us at Kyle Law Firm.