The Lowdown on Misdemeanor and Felony Charges

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge?

If you find yourself faced with criminal charges, it’s important to know the distinction between a misdemeanor and a felony. A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony, whereas a felony charge carries a much more severe penalty. To further enhance your understanding of the subject, be sure to check out this specially curated external resource. Rechtsanwalt Strafrecht Wels, it’s filled with worthwhile details to enhance your reading experience.

Examples of Misdemeanor Charges

In general, misdemeanor charges can include things such as petty theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and driving under the influence (DUI). These charges are typically punished with fines or short-term jail time. The jail sentence for a misdemeanor is generally less than a year, and offenders are usually held in local or county jails instead of state prisons.

Examples of Felony Charges

Felony charges, on the other hand, usually involve a more serious crime. They can include offenses like murder, grand theft, drug trafficking, and arson. Depending on the severity of the crime, a felony charge may carry a punishment of several years to life in prison, and hefty fines. In some states, being convicted of a felony can also bring the possibility of the death penalty. Felony offenders are typically held in state or federal prisons.

How are Misdemeanor and Felony Charges Determined?

Determining whether a crime is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony usually depends on several factors. These can include the severity of the crime, the level of harm suffered by the victim, whether a weapon was involved, and the offender’s criminal history. These factors, along with others, are taken into account when deciding on the level of charges filed by the prosecutor, and ultimately, the corresponding punishment.

The Importance of a Skilled Lawyer

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it’s crucial to have skilled legal representation. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges, the potential consequences, and the best course of action for your situation. They can also work to negotiate a plea bargain or reduced sentence, or help to have your charges dismissed or reduced.

Clearing Your Record

In some cases, it may be possible to have your record expunged or sealed. This means that your criminal record will either be destroyed or kept confidential, and no potential employer or landlord can access it. However, expungement and sealing laws can vary from state to state, and not all offenses are eligible to be expunged. It’s important to consult with a criminal defense attorney to see if expungement or sealing is an option for you.


Whether you’re facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it’s important to have a solid understanding of your legal situation. Knowing the difference between the two, and how to best approach your case, can help you feel more confident and prepared during this challenging time. By choosing the right legal representation, and exploring all of your options for clearing your record, you can take steps towards moving on and starting anew. Should you wish to learn more about the topic discussed,, explore the thoughtfully chosen external material to supplement your study and broaden your understanding of the subject.

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The Lowdown on Misdemeanor and Felony Charges 2