A felony and a misdemeanour – what is the difference?

by Mike on September 10, 2017

Whats the difference

If you take a look at the criminal justice system in the US, you will see that a felony charge is more serious than a misdemeanour. The actual definition for the two types of crime differs slightly between states. For instance, in California you will find that a misdemeanour is regarded as a crime which has a maximum punishment of one year in county jail. Whereas, anyone found guilty of a felony can be sentenced to a number of years imprisonment in state prison.

The aim of this article is to take a closer look at felonies and misdemeanours. We will also explain what a wobbler offense is. If you have been charged with a crime, and need more detailed information, you should speak to a criminal attorney in the state, or a San Diego DUI Lawyer , depending on what type of crime you have been charged with.

What is a felony?

A felony is a serious crime, for which you can receive a sentence in state prison. Felonies include murder and malicious arson. You will often see felonies referred to as first degree or second degree; first degree refers to the most serious felonies. There can be further repercussions to being found guilty of a felony. If you commit a felony that is linked to your business activities, you could find that your business license is revoked. You may also find that a felony conviction means that you are no longer able to hold a firearms license.

What is a misdemeanour?

A misdemeanour is a less serious offense than a felony. An example of this type of offense is petty theft. The maximum punishment you can receive, if you are found guilty of a misdemeanour, is a one year sentence in county jail. The most serious misdemeanours are referred to as aggravated misdemeanours, and include DUI offenses.

What is meant by a wobbler offense?

There are some offenses which can be charged as either a misdemeanour or a felony. These offenses are referred to as “wobbler” offenses. The prosecutor makes a decision about whether to charge someone with a felony or a misdemeanour. They base their decision on the evidence that is available, as well as taking into account any previous criminal history.

You can see that felonies are the most serious offenses you can be charged with. Being found guilty of a felony can lead to you having to spend several years in state prison. This type of conviction can also lead to other serious repercussions, such as losing your business license. A misdemeanor is a less serious crime, and you may find that you receive a fine, or probation, as a sentence, if you are found guilty of this type of crime. You will never be sentenced to any more than twelve months in county jail, if you are convicted of a misdemeanour crime.



Previous post:

Next post: