Misdemeanors vs. Felonies Explained

Misdemeanors vs. Felonies Explained

It is important to understand how crimes are classified in different jurisdictions. However, some level of similarity exists in the way states classify a felony or a misdemeanor. In most cases, a misdemeanor will be considered less severe than a felony.

How They are Differentiated

A person is considered to have engaged in a misdemeanor if the crime carries no jail term. As a result, prosecutors usually have a lot of room for negotiation in such an instance. This is especially because the crimes attract a felony of less than a year. The prosecutors would thus not be willing to waste their time in a lengthy court process.

Most states classify a misdemeanor according to the level of aggressiveness involved. For instance, carrying an ounce or less of marijuana is now considered a misdemeanor. In addition, petty crimes such as jaywalking or stealing things of low value fall in this class. The OC DUI expert explains that a misdemeanor usually means there may be no court process involved. In most instances, one only has to pay a small fine and the whole incident is over.

Besides that, misdemeanors only one earn one a few weeks in jail in most cases.These jails are minimum security and there are no hardened criminals present. High-security prisons are reserved for violent criminals.

A felony is another different story. Most crimes are classified as a felony if they involve a jail term of not less than two years. In most cases, people charged with felonies face long prison sentences. Besides that, the DA’s office has very little room for negotiation with such persons. They usually pursue such cases aggressively with the aim of getting the harshest sentencing possible.

A felony is any crime that involves the use of excessive aggressiveness. For instance, robbing a house with the occupants inside, while one is carrying a gun is a felony. The state and federal law treat this very harshly. People with a felony conviction face many hurdles in life. For instance, it is difficult for them to get a job even if they have good qualifications. One reason for this is that they are sent to jail with hardened criminals. As a result, potential employers are afraid of what they may have learned when in jail.


Some states also have a three-strike rule. It means that if a person is convicted of a felony, the third time they qualify to get a life sentence. People need to avoid felonies or they may go away forever.