Understanding the Types of Felonies

Understanding The Types Of Felonies

A felony is a criminal offense that may lead to a prison term of at least one year or punishable by death. Felonies are typically considered severe crimes. Therefore, incarcerations for the same are at state or federal prisons. Persons charged with these crimes must be treated differently from other criminals, especially for cases involving violence. That is because suspects or convicts of these felony crimes are considered a threat to society. Read on to learn more about the types of felonies.

Classification of Felonies

Essentially, states categorize felonies according to the seriousness of the crime. However, it is crucial to know that each state provides statutes that guide categorizing felony crimes. Nevertheless, there are six classes of felony charges, usually named using letters or numbers depending on the state. For example, Virginia has Class 1 to 6, where Class 1 is the most serious and Class 6 is the least.

On the other hand, in Philadelphia, there are four categories of felony, first-degree to third-degree and uncategorized felonies, that carry the most hefty penalties. A credible criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia will help you know how bad your case is, citing all the risks involved.

The list of crimes in each category is not exhaustive. Here is a general breakdown of the various classes of felony in most parts of the USA:

Class 1

Class 1 crimes are grave and may include the following offenses:

  • Possession of narcotics like cocaine and heroin
  • Robbery with violence
  • Sexual assault

Various factors, including previous criminal convictions and the nature of the crime, including hate crimes, may aggravate the sentencing for class 1 felonies. Upon conviction of a class 1 felony, you may be eligible for various sentencing options, including impact incarceration, periodic imprisonment, payment of restitution to the alleged victims, and up to 4 years of probation in some cases. In Philadelphia, such severe cases fall under an uncategorized category.

Class 2 Felonies

These are the second most serious level of felony crimes. They are punishable by up to 24 years imprisonment, fines of $5000 to $25,000, or both. Class 2 Felonies include Possession of child pornography, kidnapping, sex trafficking, human trafficking, racketeering, and second-degree murder.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 felonies can result in a 5 to 20-year sentence and a fine of up to $15,000. You may be convicted of a third-degree felony for stabbing or shooting a person, trying to poison someone, having the intent to kill, disfigure, or disable a person, or if involved in some drug crimes.

Class 3 or third-degree felonies in Philadelphia include most assault charges like battery. You will need the help of aggressive Philadelphia assault lawyers if charged with these offenses.

Class 4 Felonies

Some jurisdictions categorize white-collar crimes like forgery, fraud, stalking, racketeering, and violation of restriction orders under this category. Although class 4 felonies are among the least severe types of felony offenses, they can quickly become first-degree misdemeanor offenses. If found guilty, you may serve 2 to 10 years or a fine of up to $100,000.

Class 5 Felonies

Class 5 felonies are wobbler crimes since they fall between felony and misdemeanor, based on the circumstance. They include battery, involuntary manslaughter, and extortion. Convicts may be sentenced to 1 to 10 years in prison or charged a fine of up to $2500.

Class 6 Felonies

This is the least category of felonies. Like Class 5 crimes, class 6 crimes are also considered wobbler crimes that may easily result in misdemeanor convictions. Common examples of these crimes include violation of a court order, animal cruelty, reckless endangerment, and other offenses, including some firearms crimes. Punishment for class 6 felonies includes 1 to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2500.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Philadelphia

Criminal charges can cause irreversible impacts on your persona and life in general. However, hiring an experienced and qualified lawyer may get you off the hook faster or, at the very least, minimize your punishment. When you need a criminal defense lawyer in Doylestown, PA, The Law Offices of Richard J. Fuschino Jr. will fight for you in your case at the state and federal levels. Contact us today!