People who are facing criminal charges need to find out several key points of information when they’re dealing with their case. One of these things is the category of the charge. There are two primary categories – misdemeanors and felonies. The way that your charge is classified can have a big impact on how a conviction impacts your future.
Within each of those categories, there are subcategories, which are known as classes. These are typically lettered with A being the most serious that’s associated with the harshest penalties. As you move through the alphabet, the penalties lessen, and the charge isn’t considered as serious.
In all cases, a misdemeanor is considered less serious than a felony. There are several reasons for this. One of these is that the penalties for them aren’t as severe as those for felonies. Typically, a person won’t face more than a year in jail for a misdemeanor.
A felony charge is one that’s considered very serious. These are typically punishable by time in prison instead of jail. For the most part, you’re facing more than a year behind bars if you’re convicted of a felony. Of course, there are some exceptions since the court might opt to sentence people to probation for some felony convictions.
As you’re working on your defense strategy, you need to think about the penalties that you’re facing. This might help you determine the direction you want to go. For some, this might mean trying to work out a plea deal. For others, this could be taking the case before the jury.