Timothy O. McCalep

Felony charges must always be taken very seriously

One of the first questions that might come to mind when you are charged with a crime is what type of crime it is. There are two classifications of criminal charges: felony and misdemeanor. Of these, the felony is the more serious.

Typically, the decision to categorize a specific charge as a felony has to do with the amount of prison time you are facing. The incarceration periods for felonies are longer than misdemeanors. The severity of the crime is what is used to determine this. For example, not all murders are the same. You will likely face more time in prison for a first-degree murder, which is the most heinous type, than you would for a second- or third-degree charge, which are less serious.

When you are charged with a felony, one of the first things that you will need to realize is that a conviction might come with finite penalties from the court system, but other penalties will last the rest of your life. You will be labeled a felon when you are convicted of a felony charge. This means that you will have certain rights revoked based on that status alone.

There are some felony charges that might be able to be downgraded to a misdemeanor as part of a plea deal. This can be a difficult decision to make because you would have to plead guilty to the charge to get the deal. You would need to carefully consider how each option you have might impact your future so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Felonies," accessed June 08, 2018

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