Knowing the reasons why felony charges should be taken seriously is important for individuals who have been accused of committing a felony crime to understand. While all criminal charges should not be treated lightly, felony charges can be particularly serious because of the potential consequences and repercussions individuals accused of felony charges can face.
Felonies are considered the most serious criminal charges an accused individual can face under the United States system of criminal justice and can include murder, rape and robbery charges, among other criminal charges. They are differentiated from misdemeanor criminal charges and are generally considered more severe crimes that were, at common law, considered crimes of moral turpitude. In addition to being a more serious category of crime, which are oftentimes divided into degrees under the law, they can also be punished more seriously.
In general, felonies can be punished by a year or greater in prison while misdemeanor crimes are generally punished by a year or less in jail. Potential penalties for felony crimes also include fines. Additionally, a criminal record related to an arrest or conviction for a felony charge can create significant detrimental personal and professional consequences for accused individuals. Like all criminal charges, felony charges can be challenged based on the alleged facts, alleged witness statements and police conduct.
The specifics of a criminal defense strategy are unique to each set of circumstances of the accused individual and the situation they are facing. As a result, it is important to be familiar with the felony charges the accused individual has been charged with and to have trained guidance throughout the process.
Source: Criminal.findlaw.com, "Felonies," Accessed April 11, 2018