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What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

No matter the nature of the crime that you are being charged with an Indiana, it is a serious business. However, it is also important to be aware of the specifics regarding your case. The vast majority of crimes in the United States that are brought to criminal court are either classified as misdemeanors or felonies. Depending on what you are charged with, the potential penalties and processes the courts will take are very different. According to FindLaw, misdemeanors are less serious than felonies and have fewer long-term consequences.

Generally speaking, a misdemeanor will carry a potential jail term of less than one year total. In the event that you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, your jail sentence will most likely take place in a local county jail. The criminal process also tends to be more flexible when misdemeanors are involved. For example, prosecutors have much more discretion regarding what is going to be charged and what punishments will be sought. This means that plea bargains can be quite flexible and negotiable when working with a misdemeanor charge.

On the other hand, felonies are much more serious in nature. Depending on the type of felony charge, the penalty can be life imprisonment or death. Felony crimes typically require a jail sentence of more than one year at minimum and will take place in a higher-security prison. Criminal procedure is much more strict during a felony trial.

Both misdemeanors and felony charges should be taken very seriously. A professional criminal lawyer can assist you in understanding the complex legal processes in our courts and help you navigate the system.

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