NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 6th August 2023, 02:19 am
Every state in the United States has a different grouping of felony offenses according to the severity of the felony and punishment. To assign sentencing to each crime, many divide the felonies into subgroups, some states deliver a sentence based on the crime. For some, they prefer the hybrid approach.
Different types of crime
There are there types of crimes: infractions, misdemeanor, and felonies. Infractions are not severe and often punished by warnings. Whereas misdemeanors and felonies have more severe consequences, they have the following differences:
• A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence to county jail, while felonies lead to sentencing in state prison.
• Misdemeanor sentences in most states are not longer than a year, whereas felonies carry a long sentence, including life imprisonment. In states with the death penalty, certain felonies lead to a death sentence.
• After being convicted with a misdemeanor, ramifications are not that serious. Felony convicts lose some professional licenses, cannot serve in a jury, and lose the right to vote and the right to bear arms.
Classification of crime: Classes and Levels
It is common for states to use subcategories to show the seriousness of a felony. Every subcategory is assigned its sentence or sentence range. For example, Indiana classifies its crimes as Class A, B, C, or D felonies. Each of those classes has its punishment. By knowing the level of a crime, one can learn its possible sentence.
Some states use levels and degrees instead of classes. For example, Virginia uses levels 1 to 6, whereas Ohio uses the 1st to 5th degree. Then other states use description levels.
Definition of felony classes
The following felony classes exist in the U.S.
• Class A
• Class B
• Class C
• Class D
• Class E
Class A felony
Many states categorize crime by their severity, from the most serious to the least one. Therefore class A or level one crimes are the most severe cases in those states. Because every state has its penal cord, a Class A offense in one state may be a Class B offense in another state. Class A felonies include treason, terrorism, and aggravated murder, among others.
Punishment for Class A crimes ranges from one year sentence to life imprisonment depending on the offense charged and time added on the base sentence.
Class B felony
A class B crime is the second most serious crime after Class A. They include manslaughter, assault and battery, and heroin and cocaine possession. Sentences for Class B felonies are not more than 25 years.
Class C felony
They may include forgery, bribery, money laundering, and kidnapping.
Consequences for class C offenses vary from state to state. Class C crimes are often punishable by jail sentences of not more than ten years. Conviction of a Class C felony stays permanently on the offender’s record.
Class D felony
A class D felony is a crime that does not involve physical violence towards an individual. Examples may include; car theft, drunk driving, stalking, and fraud.
Class D offenses are punishable by jail time, payment of fines, and community service.
Class E felony
This is the least severe crimes in states that categorize felonies into classes. They include: luring a child, possession of child pornography, among others.
Class E felonies are often punished with no prison time but come with probation of 2-4 years.
Classification with No Subcategories
Some states do not use categories; instead, they allocate a sentence to a felony, one crime after the other. For example, in Massachusetts, each offense’s punishment will appear in each felony’s statute defining the felony.
Hybrid Approach Classification
Some states use this approach, meaning they use subcategories for most felonies, and for others, they assign the sentence in the statute defining the felony. For example, Colorado has crime levels 1 to 6 and unclassified crimes. When the felony is an unclassified offense, the sentence will be found in the statute defining the felony.
Kansas Grid Classification
Kansas has a unique sentencing system that uses a complicated grid that takes into account the seriousness of a crime and the defendant’s criminal history. Therefore, a less severe crime committed by a first-time offender is charged the least compared to a serious crime committed by a repeat offender who will be charged severely.
Federal Crimes Classification
The U.S. Congress uses a sentencing scheme that is similar to the Kansas grid system. It consists of 43 crime levels and six categories of criminal history. The intersection of these two determines the sentencing range of a felony. Judges use this system as a starting point when passing sentences.
Understanding Felony Classification in the United States: A Comprehensive Guide
If you are facing a felony charge, it is crucial to understand the classification system of the state where you are charged. Every state has different felony classifications, sentencing ranges, and rules that govern the legal process. As such, it is essential to have an experienced attorney who can guide you through this complex process.
Spodek Law Group, led by Attorney Todd Spodek, has extensive experience in handling felony cases across the United States. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about felony classification in America.
Types of Crimes
Crimes are generally classified into three types: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. Infractions are minor offenses and often punished by warnings or small fines. Misdemeanors and felonies are more severe crimes with long-lasting consequences.
Differences between Misdemeanors and Felonies
A misdemeanor carries a potential sentence to county jail while felonies lead to sentencing in state prison. Misdemeanor sentences in most states do not exceed one year; on the other hand, felonies carry long sentences ranging from several years up to life imprisonment or even death penalty depending on certain circumstances.
After being convicted with a misdemeanor offense ramifications may not be as serious compared to those convicted for a felony crime since they lose some professional licenses cannot serve on juries nor bear arms or vote again.
Classification of Crimes: Classes and Levels
States use subcategories that show how severe a particular crime is categorized as either Class A,B,C,D,E levels or degrees instead of classes while others use description levels.
Definition of Felony Classes
Class A felonies represent the most severe cases among all categories used by states when categorizing crimes according their severity level which varies from one state penal code another . Examples include treason terrorism aggravated murder among others whose punishment range from 1-year sentence up-to-life imprisonment depending on the offense charged and time added to base sentence.
Class B felonies are the second most serious crimes after Class A, including manslaughter, assault and battery, heroin and cocaine possession. Sentences for Class B felonies do not exceed 25 years.
Class C felonies may include forgery, bribery, money laundering, kidnapping among others whose consequences vary from state to state. Jail sentences of not more than ten years often apply in such cases with conviction of a Class C felony staying permanently on the offender’s record.
A class D felony does not involve physical violence towards an individual; examples may include car theft drunk driving stalking fraud among others. Punishment for these offenses includes jail time payment of fines or community service.
Class E felonies represent the least severe crimes in states that categorize them into classes. They include luring a child possession of child pornography among other related offenses which are often punished with no prison time but come with probation periods ranging between two to four years.
Hybrid Approach Classification
Some states use this approach where they use subcategories for most felonies while assigning sentences in statutes defining specific types of crime as unclassified offenses like Colorado has crime levels 1-6 plus unclassified ones whereby when it is an unclassified offense then its sentence will be found within statute defining it accordingly .
Kansas Grid Classification
Kansas has a unique sentencing system that uses a complicated grid taking into account seriousness level committed by defendant’s criminal history meaning less severe crimes committed by first-time offenders get charged less compared to serious ones committed by repeat offenders who face harsher charges under Kansas Grid Classification scheme .
Federal Crimes Classification
The U.S Congress uses similar sentencing schemes like Kansas grid system consisting 43 crime levels six categories criminal history intersection determines range sentencing judges start passing sentences based upon this system as starting point when deciding what punishment fits particular case before them at hand .
In conclusion understanding felony classification systems crucial knowing possible sentence range for any given crime. Spodek Law Group led by Attorney Todd Spodek has extensive experience handling felony cases across United States if you are facing a felony charge contact us today learn more about how we can help navigate complex legal process protect your rights trust our professionalism expertise needed handle legal situation with utmost care and attention it deserves!