What is a Class 6 Felony?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A Class 6 felony does not exist in all places, since different regions have different class labeling for each offense they consider felonious, and some use numbers instead of letters to designate seriousness of offense. Where Class 6 is used, this designation usually means that person has committed a crime considered the least of the felonies, a far cry from Class 1 or Class 2 felonies, but still a serious crime. Depending on how a jurisdiction is constructed, the Class 6 felony may sometimes be reclassified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, or if a person has a criminal past, it might result in both fines and time in jail, usually no more than two years.

A Class 6 felony may involve jail time.
A Class 6 felony may involve jail time.

It would be difficult to describe exactly what may constitute a Class 6 felony. It could be a small theft, possession of very small amounts of illegal drugs, or vandalism of property that exceeds a certain dollar amount. The only way to really know how this charge is used is to be fully conversant with the law in every region where it is used, and it is instead better to say that a variety of crimes may fit this charge, they are usually not major crimes, and they almost always lack an element of directly hurting or intending to hurt other people.

Individuals who have committed a Class 6 felony may face arrest.
Individuals who have committed a Class 6 felony may face arrest.

Similarly, the way the Class 6 felony actually gets interpreted at the point of court ruling may have some gray area. Sometimes a Class 6 does get downgraded to a Class 1 misdemeanor if a person has no prior criminal history. A sentence that includes jail time can be based on a variety of factors, including things like whether a region has overcrowded jails. A judge may have considerable judicial discretion that could mean awarding jail time, giving probation, demanding community service, or charging fines, and sometimes a combination of several of these.

Anyone accused of automobile theft who threatened or harmed the vehicle's owner or passengers will nearly always face felony charges.
Anyone accused of automobile theft who threatened or harmed the vehicle's owner or passengers will nearly always face felony charges.

Sometimes, felony classes are designated by letter, and they don’t always directly correspond to a number designation system. In Wisconsin, for example, it might be easy to assume that a Class F felony would carry the same weight as a Class 6 felony. This is far from true, and Wisconsin’s classes extend all the way to the Class I felony, which even then may have greater charges than the Class 6.

Anyone who is charged with any form of felony can face jail time if they are found guilty. The class designation may correspond to how much time in jail they might face and also may indicate something about how serious a crime was. In reality, all felonies are serious, may affect the immediate future of the person charged, and might remain on a criminal record for a very long time. Those facing these charges are best helped by securing legal advice that will determine the wisest course of action.

People who possess even minute amounts of illegal drugs can be charged with a Class 6 felony.
People who possess even minute amounts of illegal drugs can be charged with a Class 6 felony.
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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anon157828

wow - very helpful. Thank you.

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