If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, it can be a confusing and overwhelming experience. One of the first things you'll need to understand is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.
What is a Felony?
A felony is a serious crime with a punishment of more than one year in prison. Examples of felonies include murder, rape, and drug trafficking. Felonies are categorized based on the severity of the crime, with Class A felonies being the most serious and Class E felonies being the least serious.
What is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a less severe crime punishable by up to one year in jail. Some examples of misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, petty theft, and simple assault. Misdemeanors are also classified into different categories, with Class A misdemeanors being the most serious and Class B being the least serious.
The Consequences of a Felony vs. Misdemeanor Conviction
Felony convictions have more severe consequences compared to misdemeanor convictions. Besides longer prison sentences, felons may lose rights like voting, firearm ownership, or professional licenses. Additionally, a felony conviction can hinder future employment or housing prospects.
In contrast, a misdemeanor conviction may lead to a shorter jail sentence or probation, but it still carries significant consequences. Misdemeanor convictions can appear on background checks and may result in fines, community service, or mandatory counseling.
How to Navigate the Legal System
If you've been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, it's important to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. A qualified criminal defense attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce or drop your charges altogether.
Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorney
At Lokken & Putnam, P.C., we have years of experience representing clients charged with both felonies and misdemeanors. Our skilled attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.