In the United States, a felony is one of the most serious crimes for which a person can be charged. A class 2 felony can represent a variety of crimes, ranging from manslaughter to bigamy. The punishment for this type of felony is equally far ranging, often resulting in prison time and a large fine. This type of felony continues its punishment even after the convicted person is released from prison, because some of his or her rights are stripped away.
A felony, in the U.S. court system, is any crime that carries a punishment of more than one year in prison. These crimes are considered more serious in the eyes of the court system than lesser crimes, which are known as misdemeanors. After a felony is established, it is further classified by giving it a corresponding number or letter. Crimes can range from a class 1 felony to a class 6 felony, based on severity, although some states use a different cataloging system with letters representing the same classifications. For example, a class B felony is the same as a class 2 felony.
A class 2 felony usually is the second most serious type of felony, behind a class 1. The first class is reserved for violent crimes, such as murder. Class 2 felonies still can be violent, such as aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or manslaughter while intoxicated. In addition, a nonviolent crime such as possession of large amounts of marijuana, human trafficking, arson, robbery and even bigamy often is considered to be this type of crime.
The punishment for these crimes can vary greatly. Penalties for committing a class 2 felony are based on factors such as the severity of the crime, the defendant's previous prison record and intent. These felonies carry prison sentences ranging from two to 20 years. Also, they can have a fine added to the sentence as high as $10,000 US Dollars.
The prison time and financial loss associated with committing a felony in the U.S. are not the only punishment for a convicted felon. These people also lose the right to vote in any U.S. election, are ineligible for public office, cannot serve on a jury, cannot obtain certain licenses such as a visa and cannot legally own firearms or ammunition. Also, finding a job often is difficult because many employers will not hire anyone who has been convicted of a felony.