Everyone has typically heard of felonies in relation to criminal offenses. Many people, however, are not aware of what the difference is between a misdemeanor and a felony. These are both crimes that you can face on a state and federal level.
Felonies are considered to be more serious offenses than misdemeanors. Felonies are distinguished from misdemeanors by the fact that they carry jail or prison sentences of a year or more while misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year only and generally that time is served in a local county jail. Both felonies and misdemeanors are generally subject to fines. The fines for felonies are often higher than those for misdemeanors; fines are determined by the nature of the offense involved.
Have you been charged with a felony? It is vital that you have diligent and dedicated legal representation. Call Daniels & Taylor, P.C. at (770) 285-1673 to discuss your case in a free consultation.
More About Felonies
Felonies often fall into loose categories depending on their circumstances. These can include:
- Felonies against people, such as assault, battery, manslaughter, and murder
- Felonies against property, such as burglary, arson, robbery, criminal trespass
- Felonies involving fraud, such as credit card fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and counterfeiting
- Felonies against public safety, such as terrorist threats or activity, rioting and looting
Unlike other states, Georgia does not put felonies into a hierarchy of classes, such as Class 1 through 6 or Class A through E. Felonies in our state are designated as felonies only by degree and sentencing is done on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration all of the relevant facts and circumstances. These facts and circumstances can include both aggravating and mitigating factors. Aggravating factors would worsen the crime while mitigating factors would lessen it.
The most serious felonies, of course, involve the taking or injuring of human life, such as murder. This is often punishable by the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Other serious felonies can include such crimes as armed robbery or rape, which can carry prison sentences of 10 to 25 years.
In some cases, a crime may be called a “wobbler,” meaning it may be punishable as a felony or a misdemeanor. This means a judge can reduce the sentencing of a felony down to that of a misdemeanor. This would done based on the circumstances of the case.
How a Felony Can Affect Your Life
Aside from the criminal penalties, once you are convicted of a felony you then have a permanent criminal record going forward. This can create difficulties in securing future life opportunities, from gaining a job to obtaining housing, qualifying for higher education, student loans, and professional licenses for such careers as plumbing, electrician, real estate, nursing, pharmacy, teaching, and more. Because of these negative impacts, you need to fight back hard with an effective defense.
Ready to talk to a criminal defense attorney about your felony case? Call (770) 285-1673 today.