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Difference Between Misdemeanor and Felony

Misdemeanor vs Felony

Crime is a breach of the law for which the legal system of a government can make a conviction. Crime can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony is considered a serious crime in countries practicing common law. It can be punishable by death or imprisonment for a period of over one year. A misdemeanor, on the other hand, is a crime that is less serious. It is punishable by imprisonment of less than one year or monetary fines.

Misdemeanors include: prostitution, reckless driving, vandalism, disorderly conduct, simple assault, petty thief, and drug possession. These crimes are punishable with a maximum of 12 months imprisonment in a local jail, probation, community service, or part time imprisonment that is usually served on weekends. Those convicted of misdemeanors still have their civil rights but can lose their licenses, public office or employment.

Felonies receive harsher punishment because these crimes are more serious. These include crimes like arson, burglary, grand theft, sale of drugs, robbery, rape, and murder. They can be violent or non violent as in the case of property and drug offenses. The punishment for felonies includes prison terms that depend upon the crime that was committed. Aside from this, they may have legal consequences as well like disenfranchisement, ineligibility to purchase firearms, obtaining licenses, and serving on a jury. If the felon is not a citizen, he will be deported. Convicted felons may also find it hard to find jobs after they have served their sentences.

Summary
1. A felony is a serious crime while a misdemeanor is a less serious crime.
2. A felony is punishable by death or imprisonment of not less than one year while a misdemeanor is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of less than one year.
3. A convicted felon will lose some of his civil rights including the right to buy firearms and the right to apply for licenses while a person convicted of a misdemeanor will not lose his civil rights.
4. A convicted felon will carry the status for the rest of his life and may find it hard to find jobs while those convicted of a misdemeanor do not have this stigma.


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1 Comment

  1. how long does the misdemeanor ( shoplifting) expunge?

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