Misdemeanor vs. Felony: Your Guide

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Knowing the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony can be important. Whether you or someone you know faces charges, you can make sure they’re the right type. Then, you can get the legal help you need.

About Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are crimes that can lead to jail time of a year or less. Some states categorize misdemeanors as crimes that don’t fit into any other category.

Either way, the call into three classes, with Class A holding the longest punishment of six months to one year. Class C misdemeanors come with shorter punishments of five days to one month, while Class B falls in the middle.

If you commit any type of misdemeanor, you’ll serve your time in jail instead of prison. You may have more flexibility in negotiating a plea bargain than if you commit a felony.

About Felonies

If you commit a felony, you may need some of the best bail bonds Berks County PA has to offer. These are serious crimes, and most involve punishments longer than one year. However, some states don’t follow that exact definition.

Like misdemeanors, felonies have multiple classes, each with different punishment lengths. A Class A felony can result in a life sentence or the death penalty. Class B is the second-longest, with a punishment of at least 25 years.

Next, there are Class C felonies, with punishments lasting 10 to 25 years. A Class D felony will get you five to 10 years in prison. Finally, a Class E felony is the shortest, at one to five years of time.

Why This Matters

Knowing whether someone commits a felony or a misdemeanor can affect their punishment. But it can also affect those around them.

If you have children or other loved ones, they may not take your imprisonment easily. You might also choose your legal team based on their specialization, depending on the charges. Some lawyers may be able to defend you better for a felony than others, for example.

You can also expect to pay more for a bail bond or for other legal counsel for a felony. After all, the crime is more serious, so the judge may not want to release you as easily.

It would be nice if no one ever committed a crime. Sadly, that’s not realistic. But knowing the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony can help you prepare for your case or that of a loved one.

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