What Is a Felony? Each state has its own penal code or statutes that dictates how a crime is classified. The widely accepted definition of a felony is a crime that involves a significant fraud, theft or physical harm to another. Some jurisdictions classify a felony as any crime that may lead to a prison sentence longer than a year. A criminal law firm in Columbia MD may be able to give you more guidance on what constitutes a felony in the area.
How Is a Felony Different Than a Misdemeanor?Misdemeanors are lesser criminal acts that result in local jail time or probation. A person may initially get charged with a misdemeanor and later have it upgraded to a felony. This tends to happen once the court takes the accused’s prior bad acts into account. Felony convictions also carry hefty post-incarceration consequences, including:
- Being unable to vote
- Losing the right to possess a gun
- Being barred from holding certain jobs