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The Most Common Types of Felony Offenses

The Most Common Types of Felony Offenses

Felony crimes carry punishments that include prison time and fines, as opposed to misdemeanor charges, where jail time is optional. The severity of felony offenses means that you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you make sure your rights are protected and that you're treated fairly by law enforcement officials. Here's a breakdown of some common types of felony charges.

Drug crimes

Drug crimes include possession, distribution, and trafficking. Drug offenses are charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. Misdemeanor drug crimes can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony drug offenses can lead to more than five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Drug possession isn't always a crime; it depends on the circumstances surrounding your case and where you live. In some states, possessing small amounts of marijuana (less than 1 ounce) is not considered illegal—though this doesn't mean you won't be fined or arrested if caught with it!

However, if possession of drugs is proven to be held with the intent to sell or distribute, you can look at years in federal prison alongside a hefty fine.

Violent crimes

Violent crimes are unfortunately common and typically carry the most severe consequences regarding prison sentencing. Not all violent crimes may be categorized as felonies, with exceptions in some instances, but this can vary highly depending on the context.

Theft

There are many types of felonies, but the most common type of felony offense is theft. A person commits theft when he or she knowingly obtains or exerts control over someone else's property with the intent to deprive the owner of it.

If you steal $500 worth of merchandise from a store, you can be charged with misdemeanor larceny. If you steal more than $500 worth of merchandise from a store, however, then your crime will be considered as stealing in the first degree—a felony offense. Best way to avoid theft charges? Keep your hands in your pockets; it is not worth dealing with business owners with a legal team ready to attack.

Arson

Arson is a felony that can be punished by years in prison. Arson occurs when someone intentionally starts a fire or causes an explosion that damages another person's property. These are the most common types of arson:

  • Burning a building or structure with the intent to defraud an insurer (this includes burning your own house).

  • Setting fire to property that belongs to a government organization (such as a public building or graveyard). This type of arson frequently involves people who want attention from the police and usually do it just because they're bored.

  • Setting fire to property that belongs to another person with the intent to defraud them (e.g., setting your neighbor's car on fire so you can collect insurance money).

Felony Classes

While felonies are more severe in consequences than misdemeanors, there are different rankings for felonies correlating to those consequences. Typically the highest class felony an individual can face are Class A felonies, followed by Class B, C, and so on.

Typically with Class A felonies, individuals face up to life in prison due to crimes relating to murder or arson, something severe. With a Class D felony, on the other hand, individuals are facing maybe up to ten years for assault or even identity theft.

Even at the lowest class of felony, the consequences you can face are pretty severe, and a good reason to always consult a lawyer when dealing with any charge.

 

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