Busted But Not Responsible? Tips For Your Defense

If you've been arrested for a crime you didn't commit, you need to defend your legal rights. You have the right to an attorney who can help you present your case. After being wrongly accused of something myself, I learned quickly how to navigate the legal avenues to have my case dismissed. My attorney was a great resource for building the case, and because of my understanding of the law, it worked. I created this site to share what I learned along the way and some other great tips for others who have been wrongly accused and arrested for a crime.

How Do the Penalties for Misdemeanor Charges Differ from the Penalties for Felony Charges?

Law Blog

When a person is found guilty of a crime, they may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on how severe the crime was and under which classification the crime falls. A felony always involves more serious criminal behavior than a misdemeanor. These are some ways that the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies differ.


Those who are found guilty of a misdemeanor are not always given incarceration as a punishment. They may instead be put on probation and ordered to pay a restitution fine. This often depends on whether the crime was a one-time occurrence or if it has been repetitive. If the criminal is incarcerated, his or her time may be served in a local or county jail.

However, if a person is found guilty of a felony, they will most likely be sentenced to incarceration. The incarceration does not usually take place in a local jail. Instead, the felon will be sentenced to serve time in a state prison.

Length of Incarceration 

If a person is sentenced to be incarcerated for misdemeanor charges, the length of time he or she is in jail is not more than one year. The sentence may or may not also include paying a fine depending on what the criminal behavior involved.

The length of incarceration time for felony charges can vary greatly depending on the type of crime that was committed. Those who are convicted of a felony are usually sentenced to be incarcerated in a state prison for more than one year.

Post-Conviction Consequences 

Once a criminal has completed serving the time he or she was sentenced with, there are still some consequences that may follow him or her for the rest of his or her life. Misdemeanor charges remain on a person's permanent record, but are not often frowned upon as severely as felony charges.

In some states, a misdemeanor charge can be expunged (sealed from public records) after the sentence has been served and the person has several years of no further criminal behavior.

However, felony charges remain on the person's record permanently. The person may lose the right to vote or serve on a jury and may not be allowed to carry certain professional licenses. Convicted felons may find it hard to get certain jobs, be approved for loans, and obtain housing, as well.

Misdemeanor and felony charges may vary somewhat among different states. Some states use subcategories to classify felonies and misdemeanors. This makes it easier to assign punishments according to the class of the crime. However, other states determine the penalty based on the severity of the crime. Contact a lawyer from a firm like Holth & Kollman LLC if you need legal advice regarding a misdemeanor or felony charge.


18 December 2015