Many people have seen crime dramas on TV or heard the terms “misdemeanor” and “felony” tossed around on the news in reference to a person’s alleged crimes. But what do these terms mean, and what is the difference between these two categories of crimes?
In Michigan, crimes are charged either as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the severity of the offense. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies and are punishable by a maximum of two years in state prison, fines up to $2,000, or both.
Misdemeanors are divided into three categories based on their corresponding penalties:
1. 93-day misdemeanors
2. 1-year misdemeanors
3. High court misdemeanors
High court misdemeanors are the most serious type of misdemeanors and are similar to felonies. High court misdemeanors include charges such as vehicular homicide, indecent exposure, and second offense domestic violence.
Felonies, on the other hand, are much more serious than misdemeanors and are punishable by more than one year in prison. Felonies are divided into eight different classes based on their severity, with Class A felonies being the most serious.
Penalties for felony offenses in Michigan are as follows:
1. Class A felonies: Up to life in prison
2. Class B felonies: Up to 20 years in prison
3. Class C felonies: Up to 15 years in prison
4. Class D felonies: Up to 10 years in prison
5. Class E felonies: Up to 5 years in prison
6. Class F felonies: Up to 4 years in prison
7. Class G felonies: Up to 2 years in prison
8. Class H felonies: Jail time or alternative sentencing
In addition to prison time, Michigan courts can impose expensive fines as part of the sentence for any felony. A felony conviction can inflict serious damage to a person’s reputation and livelihood, as well as cause them to forfeit certain rights such as the ability to vote, carry a firearm, or obtain certain professional licenses.
Royal Oak Criminal Defense Lawyers – Call (248) 543-9000
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense, it is imperative you retain powerful legal counsel at once to protect yourself against serious consequences. At Rasor Law Firm, our Royal Oak criminal defense attorneys are ready to take the gloves off and fight for your freedom. Having handled thousands of cases since 1994, we have what it takes to secure the results you need.
We offer free consultations to all that approach us for help. Schedule yours today!