Friday, July 3, 2020

What’s the Difference Between a Misdemeanour and a Felony & What Should You Do When Charged?

August 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.comNavigating the law and criminal processes is something that none of us want to have to do. But you never know what is going to happen to you. That’s why it’s best to be informed and prepared at all times when it comes to criminal law. If you know what you’re talking about and what your rights are, you will be able to cope with the situation much better. But to navigate criminal law, you really need to understand it. Misdemeanors and felonies are both types of crime. But one is more serious than the other. They’re simply two categories. But whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or a crime will matter a lot.

Everything from the severity of the punishment to the conviction’s implications will be affected. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but you need to know what that difference means in real terms for people like you. If you don’t, you’ll immediately be on the back foot. Here’s the information you need to know about misdemeanors and felonies, including their differences. Then you can find out how to respond if you are charged with one or the other.

What’s a Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors are crimes that are more serious than infractions but less serious than felonies. They are usually not punished by any more than a year in jail. If a crime requires are more serious punishment than that, then it probably won’t be categorized as a misdemeanor. In many cases, misdemeanors won’t require the guilty person to spend any time in prison. Instead, there might be a suspended sentence, fine or community service sentence.blackmanandlawyer

There are variations in different states, and this is something that it’s important to be aware of. Many crimes that might be considered misdemeanors in one state could be considered felonies in states with tougher laws. The biggest variations with regards to misdemeanors in different states relate to drug offences. Some states are much more lenient than others.

What’s a Felony?

Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, and they’re also the most serious types of crime out there. It’s the highest category, but there is also a wide range of crimes that can come under the heading of felonies. Anything punished by more than a year in prison is usually considered a felony. The crimes considered felonies tend to be the most nasty and reviled in existence.

However, there are differing levels of severity. And this is something that is always taken into account when a criminal has been found guilty and is being sentenced. The kinds of crimes that get punished as felonies are the ones that cause direct harm, whether physical or mental, to another person. These are not victimless crimes, and they’re treated that way. There are felonies that are without violence, and these will be looked at below.


Misdemeanors tend to be crimes that are not violent in any way. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t victims, but those victims won’t be damaged or harmed in any real way. For example, petty theft would be considered a misdemeanor. Then there are things like disorderly driving or even drug possession crimes that aren’t severe enough to be felonies. But they are too serious to be infractions.

Felonies include violent crimes such as murder, battery, rape and kidnapping. These kinds of attacks are always considered felonies without question. The non-violent felonies that exist include things like tax evasion and copyright infringements. These are serious crimes that can seem like they have no victim, but that’s never actually the case. And that’s why are they are punished so severely by the law.

How Should You Respond to Being Charged with Each?

Getting charged with a crime is never much fun, especially if you feel like you did nothing wrong. The process will be less stringent for misdemeanors. You will be informed of the situation and summoned to court on a particular date. You won’t necessarily be held in custody though. However, you will need a lawyer. You can get one of those from somewhere like the criminal defense firm Tillman Braniff. You’ll need a lawyer with experience, so hire the best you can afford to.

Felonies are serious crimes. And is someone has been charged with one of the most serious felonies, they will be arrested. If this happens to you, and you have been properly charged, there is a strong chance that you will be kept in custody. You will still have the chance to get and consult with a lawyer, and this should always be done. You can then start to prepare your defence and decide how to plea in court.


The punishments for misdemeanors are quite small. As I mentioned above, you won’t be kept in prison for more than a year. In many cases, the length of the prison sentence won’t even be that long. And with things like good behavior, you can be out even faster. With the right plea in court, judges can often award a suspended sentence. This means that you will only go to prison if another crime is committed during a fixed period of time.

Felonies, on the other hand, can be punished very severely indeed. For the very worst crimes, the punishment can be the death penalty. But this is only legal in some states. And the crime has to be very severe for this to happen. In states where the death penalty isn’t used, the most severe punishment is life in prison without parole.


The long-term effects of being convicted of a crime can be huge. Many people want their crimes sealed so that the public can’t access to them. It’s necessary to go through a long process before that can happen though. This is something that won’t be permitted for the most serious of felonies. But small misdemeanors can be expunged for many people when an appeal is launched. This can make it easy for people to get a job later in life, which can be very imp

Staff Writer; Kevin Johnson

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