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What Is The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?

Criminal charges of all levels can leave the accused with questions. How severe are the accusations they face? If those charges lead to a conviction, how could the penalties change their life? How can they defend themselves against these allegations?

Attorney Alexandria “Ally” Crouthamel fights for clients in east central Pennsylvania who have been charged with crimes of all types. At Crouthamel Law Offices, she understands the way that any criminal charge – misdemeanor or felony – can impact your life, and she will aggressively advocate for you at every stage of the legal process.

What Makes A Crime A Misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors are generally less severe than felonies, but they still come with penalties that could change a person’s life. Depending on the seriousness of the charge, misdemeanors can lead to months or years in prison, hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, probation and a variety of other consequences.

Some charges that are commonly classified as misdemeanors include:

  • Threats
  • Assaults
  • Many types of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses
  • Theft of property worth less than $2,000
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Vandalism

Pennsylvania law divides misdemeanor crimes into three different categories, with first-degree misdemeanors being the most serious. While third-degree misdemeanors are among the least severe charges under state law, they can still have a significant impact on a person’s life.

What Makes A Crime A Felony?

Felonies are more serious offenses than misdemeanors, and, generally, these charges can lead to more serious penalties. These include up to $25,000 in fines and years in prison. Felony convictions can also impact your life in other ways, such as limiting your ability to own a firearm, receive financial aid for a college education, pursue government benefits, run for public office or serve on a jury.

Some charges commonly classified as felonies include:

  • Bribery
  • Gun crimes
  • Theft of property worth more than $2,000
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping

Just as misdemeanor charges are divided into categories based on their severity, felonies are also divided into different categories. First-degree felonies are among the most serious crimes under state law and can lead to more than a decade in prison.

Fight For Your Rights Today

No matter what level of charge you’re facing, you deserve to have an experienced lawyer by your side. Attorney Crouthamel offers no-cost consultations for clients in Carbon, Monroe, Lehigh, Schuylkill, Delaware, Montgomery, Chester, Berks and Bucks counties. Call 610-857-7490 or reach out in an email to learn more.