What's the Difference Between Misdemeanors & Felonies?
Posted By The Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass || 10-Nov-2011
You’ve probably heard the words “misdemeanor” and “felony” thrown around quite a bit in various movies and TV shows. You know they refer to the seriousness of a crime, but how so? What are some of their consequences? Here’s a brief overview of misdemeanors and felonies—how they are similar, and how they differ.
The less serious of the two, “misdemeanor” typically refers to crimes that are punishable by one year in jail or less. A misdemeanor is a crime that isn’t serious enough to be considered a felony, but is more serious than an infraction. Some examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, trespassing, and possession of a small amount of illegal drugs. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you risk losing your professional license or government position.
Felonies, on the other hand, are much more serious offenses. Murder, rape, and possession of large amounts of illegal drugs are considered felonies, and may yield punishments that range from a couple years in prison to the death penalty. If convicted of a felony in the United States, you forfeit your right to vote and you can be legally discriminated against when applying for work or a place to live.
- “Wobbler” offenses
Lastly, a “wobbler” offense refers to a crime that is not clearly defined as either a felony or misdemeanor. Whether a court deems a crime to be one or the other depends on the surrounding circumstances. For instance, if found with an amount of drugs that doesn’t clearly constitute a misdemeanor or felony, a judge will likely look at your criminal background, how you behaved during the arrest, and other factors before deciding whether to deem your crime a felony or misdemeanor.
If you’re facing either a felony or misdemeanor and need a Dallas criminal defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass. Mr. Grass has extensive experience defending those accused of DWIs, aggravated assault, white collar crimes, and many other criminal offenses. To get started on your defense today, give us a call.
Categories: Felony Charge