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Differences Between Class A Misdemeanor Vs Felony

Differences Between Class A Misdemeanor Vs Felony

Any individual who is navigating the criminal justice system must become familiar with it. They must know what charges they are facing and the nature of the laws behind them. Individuals should also know about the differences between types of charges and what those charge types mean for their cases. Knowing the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is essential

Limits to punishments

The most obvious difference between the class A misdemeanor and the felony is the degree of potential punishment that a person may receive. Perhaps the most basic definition of any misdemeanor is a crime for which a person can only be sentenced to a maximum of one year in jail or a particular fine. No matter how severe the misdemeanor is, it is always bound by those statutory parameters. A felony, on the other hand, does not have an upper limit. The death penalty is still prescribed by courts for the most heinous murders. In less severe cases, individuals can face years or even decades in prison. There are statutes that guide sentencing in felonies, but the hard limit is often incredibly severe.

States and the federal government also approach these two types of cases differently. They will often press for jail time for felonies, even those committed by first-time offenders. With misdemeanors, jurisdictions almost always push for pre-trial interventions and other methods of punishment. A person may face a significant stretch of probation and a hefty fine in lieu of jail.

Nature of the crimes

Misdemeanor charges are often significantly different from felony charges. They are different in kind and involve less serious offenses that do not do as much damage to society or other individuals. The crimes that make up a large number of misdemeanors include petty theft and traffic violations. Many of these crimes are either understandable or do not involve serious injury or malicious intent to another party. They do not show a depraved or inherently criminal attitude. But some charges change in class depending on the size and severity. For instance, a person may steal a small amount of money and receive a misdemeanor while a larger amount would have resulted in a felony.

There are also crimes that a person commits multiple times which are upgraded to a felony. The most common example of this is drunk driving. An initial drunk driving charge is considered a minor misdemeanor in most states. But the severity of that charge increases significantly with each instance. It becomes a felony at a certain point and can result in a hefty jail sentence and the permanent revocation of a person’s license.

Restrictions to freedom

The simple status of misdemeanor versus felony means that there are a number of differences in the way different institutions and companies treat a person with a misdemeanor compared to a felony. The process of expunging a record is much easier with a misdemeanor. A person only has to wait a few years and can go through a relatively simple process. Many landlords deny housing to people who have committed a misdemeanor in the past three years or a felony in the past five years. Some of the bans that are permanent with a felony are only temporary with a misdemeanor. A number of professions will ban someone from serving in that profession with a felony conviction on their record. They will treat a person with a similar misdemeanor charge less harshly.


Anyone who is facing a class A misdemeanor should not dismiss its severity because it is not a felony charge. Instead, they should retain a lawyer and bail out of jail as quickly as possible. While it may not do as much damage as a felony, a misdemeanor is still an incredibly damaging part of a person’s life and a stain on their criminal record. It should be treated with the utmost seriousness and severity by anyone afflicted with such a charge.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
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Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
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Loveth Okpedo
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Bee L
Bee L
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divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Misdemeanors vs Felonies What are the Differences?

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony? A misdemeanor is a lesser offense criminal act. Usually, a misdemeanor is punished less severely than other crimes. A monetary fine is typically the consequence of a misdemeanor charge.

In contrast, a felony is the most serious type of crime. A felony conviction involves jail time. In addition to jail time, a felony can also come with a fine and other long-term impacts.

The Categories of Crimes

Not all crimes are evaluated the same. Within the United States, each state separates crimes into categories. The seriousness of the crime is what determines the classification. The following are the most common categories of crimes:

• Infractions
• Misdemeanors
• Felonies

It is important to note that within each category, there are subcategories and classes. Each category has different punishments and regulations.


If you create a ranking system for crimes, the infraction is the least severe. About other crimes, an infraction is the least serious. You can receive an infraction if you violate a law, ordinance, or rule.

In most cases, an infraction does not result in any jail time. The main punishment of an infraction is a required fine payment. At most, an infraction can result in up to 5 days in jail. A common infraction is a traffic violation.


A misdemeanor is a step above an infraction. A crime classified as a misdemeanor can result in jail time that is less than one year. There are different classes of a misdemeanor. The classes are determined by the amount of required jail time.

The major classes of misdemeanor offenses are:

• Class A Misdemeanor – More than 6 months of jail time, but less than 1 year
• Class B Misdemeanor – More than 30 days of jail time, but less than 6- months
• Class C Misdemeanor – 30 days or less jail time, but more than 5-days

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor and required to serve time, it will most likely be in county jail. Ultimately, the prison term is decided upon by the prosecutor.


The most serious type of crime you can commit is a felony. Trying to classify a felony can be confusing. The federal government and states can classify the term differently. According to the government, a felony conviction is required to have a minimum punishment of one year. Some states are not as strict with their classification.

For example, some states do not define the term felony. The te of New Jersey does not use classification for their criminal offenses.

The facts mentioned above are not the majority ruling. Most states define a felony by the length of jail time required. Also, where you serve your jail time is a factor of a felony charge.

A felony is a crime that requires more than a 1-year jail sentence in a federal or state prison.

Felony Classifications

Similar to a misdemeanor, a felony is divided into classes. They include:

• Class A Felony – The most severe felony class. Requires life in prison or the death penalty
• Class B Felony – Mandates 25 years or more in prison
• Class C Felony – More than 10-years, but less than 25-year
• Class D Felony – More than 5-years, but less than 10-years
• Class E Felony – More than 1-year, but less than 5-years

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

The type of crime determines the severity of the punishment. In most cases, a felony will result in jail time. You can expect to spend more time in jail for a felony charge, as opposed to a misdemeanor.

Fines are usually more associated with misdemeanor charges. A felony crime will show up on your record. A felony can potentially prevent you from getting a job or applying for federal assistance programs. In most cases, a misdemeanor will not show up on your criminal record.

If you are battling a felony case, seeking the advice of an attorney is wise. A lawyer can help you to understand your rights and the severity of the case. A misdemeanor may not require the counsel of an attorney.

Both a felony and misdemeanor is a crime. The difference is, one is less severe than the other.

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