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The term felony refers to a serious offense or crime committed by a felon or a convicted person. There are several felony classes and they often vary according to territories. In the United States, every state has its own felony classes defined by an independent law-enacting body. Some identify these felony classes as class 1 felony, class 2 felony, class 3 felony, class 4 felony, and misdemeanors. While some states commonly utilize class A felony, class B felony, class C felony, class D felony, and misdemeanors.
Each classification has its own set of crimes and punishments. Punishments might include fines, or imprisonment, or both. The punishments for each felony class often depend on the gravity or severity of the offense and its implications to society.
Class 1 or class A felonies typically include crimes such as murder, kidnapping and voluntary manslaughter. These crimes are punishable by capital penalty or life imprisonment, along with fines that amount between $20,000 US Dollars (USD) up to $100,000 (USD.) Classes 2 and 3 or class B crimes include rape, manslaughter, homicide, robbery, arson, and kidnapping with two to 20 years in jail. The range of fine for these felony classes is often from $15,000 USD to $100,000 USD.
Classes 4 and 5 or class C felonies involve larceny or theft, battery, and extortion. These are usually penalized with one to 20 years in prison, plus fines of $2,500 USD to $10,000 USD. Class 5 or class D felonies often include crimes such as robbery and assault, with one to five years of jail time, plus fines of $2,500 USD to $5,000 USD.
A misdemeanor is a less serious offense than a felony. Examples of misdemeanor offenses include breach of contract and traffic violations such as reckless driving and driving without a valid license. Misdemeanor penalties ranges from one year or less in jail, and fines between $250 USD and $2,500 USD. Some misdemeanor offenses may not have jail terms, but still require fines.
Some states have additional felony classes from class E to class I. Class E involves burglary and robbery, and one example of a class F felony is sexual exploitation. For class G, crimes included are embezzlement and homicide due to negligence. With class H, stalking is included, and for class I, child pornography.
It depends on the state as to which felonies are listed in which class. What may be a class B felony in one state might be a Class A in another state. Most states have their criminal codes listed online, so that might be worth a look.
The important distinction is that felonies go with a person much longer than misdemeanors. A felony conviction can deprive a person of the right to vote and can keep him or her from getting a variety of jobs. It's no small thing to be a convicted felon and people need to remember that.
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