The Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes

On September 19, 2016, in Criminal, by John A. Weber IV, ESQ.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes

Misdemeanor and Felony crimes are defined differently.  Felony Crimes are crimes which are punishable by a year or more in prison. Violations are technically not crimes and tend to involve fines and no more then 15 days in jail. While misdemeanor crimes are punishable by at most one year. The location and particular circumstances of incarceration are handled by the department of corrections or on the federal level the bureau of prisons.

The felony classifications in NY are as follows:







Mis A

Mis B

Mis unclassified

Each of the above classifications of misdemeanor and felony crimes carry with it sentencing guidelines which may limit a Judge’s discretion during sentencing. One significant aspect of misdemeanor and felony crimes is that the Supreme Court has stated that any crime for which a jail term of one year or can be sentenced will be deemed a “serious crime” and will trigger a defendants right to a jury trial. In New York this means that a class A misdemeanor will mean that a defendant has a right to a jury trial. Many times felony convictions will mean certain rights such as the right hold public office, serve on a jury, vote, own firearms, the right to hold professional licenses such as in the areas of law or medicine and even the right to certain public housing will be terminated. These rights may or may not be terminated with the conviction of a misdemeanor. During the plea bargaining process prosecutors will sometimes be willing to drop charges from felonies to misdemeanors but this is often more difficult then negotiating a plea agreement to the initial charge.

Criminal Defense Attorney

Retaining an attorney that understands the potential  consequences of a misdemeanor and felony conviction can make a huge difference in your case. When you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, you need someone fighting on your side. Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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