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What is a felony?

What is a felony?
Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay

Felony. The word strikes fear and anxiety into almost anyone’s heart. When you hear the word felony, you know a crime is serious. You know the person who has been accused of a felony is in big trouble, but you may not know exactly what a felony is or what the different types of felonies are. 

The Definition of a Felony 

A felony is a crime that results in a person’s imprisonment for a year or more. Most felonies involve violence, but more importantly, they must pose an overall danger to society. Felony crimes are considered much more serious than citations or misdemeanors, so their punishments are considerably more severe.

Different types of Felonies

In the state of Missouri, felonies are classed from A to E. Class A felonies are the most severe. Each class a felony has its own guidelines for sentencing.

Class E 

Class E felonies are considered to be the least grievous of all the felonies. Even a class E can come with the incarceration of up to four years. 

Some examples of Class E felonies would include paying or taking a bribe, election fraud, or various forms of insurance fraud. It also includes crimes such as the vandalizing of a burial site, the selling of the body parts of a deceased person, or the abandoning of a corpse.

Class D

A class D Felony comes with a prison sentence of up to seven years in the Show-Me state. A person may serve one year of a Class D Felony prison sentence in County Jail. If their sentence is for longer than one year, they will be transferred to the Department of Corrections to serve the rest of their term. Class D felonies are nothing to be taken lightly; they can come with a fine of up to $10,000.00.

Some examples of a class D Felony Include falsifying a tax report and Off Track Betting. 

Unusual offenses such as sending an unsolicited commercial email that does not use the exact characters ‘ADV.’ in the subject line or the pilfering of a military Medal of Honor are also considered class D felonies.

Class C

A class C felony will get you a minimum 3-year sentence in the state of Missouri. However, you may serve as many as ten years in jail for such a felony. It also includes fines of up to $10,000.00.

Such crimes as sexual abuse of a child or child endangerment are considered to be Class C felonies. 

Class B

Class B felonies can mean incarceration for as long as fifteen years. If you are convicted of such a crime, you will go to jail for at least five years. Class B felonies include voluntary manslaughter and drug trafficking. In the state of Missouri, this class of felony includes performing a back-alley abortion, knowingly infecting someone with the AIDS virus, or attacks against animal research and production facilities.

Class A

If a person is convicted of a felony in Missouri, they will go to jail for at least tenten years. However, they might be incarcerated for the rest of their life. 

Class A felonies involve such crimes as homicide in the first and second degree. In Missouri, you can get a class A felony charge if you are HIV-positive and you knowingly donate tissues or organs. Crimes such as kidnapping and first-degree domestic abuse are also class A offenses. 

According to the law firm kirsch & kirsch, LLC, the first thing you should do when you are accused of a felony is contact an attorney. A criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the courts for you. They may be able to get the charges against you lessened or even dropped. 

Your freedom is the most important thing you have. You should protect it with a knowledge of the law and a qualified attorney.

Featured Image by Klaus Hausmann from Pixabay