Felony charges can be divided into five types:
  1. arson;
  2. assault;
  3. burglary;
  4. robbery; and,
  5. homicide.

Felonies can be broadly characterized as nonviolent and violent. Many associate felonies with violent crimes, but this is not always true. Many nonviolent felonies are simple crimes between ordinary, nonviolent people.

It is important to remember that, for purposes of felony sentencing, the severity of the crime is determined by the nature of the crime and the circumstances surrounding it. For example, a felony shoplifting charge in which the defendant concealed a large amount of merchandise and evaded security would likely have a harsher penalty than a felony for shoplifting several small items.

Informer Repayment Program (ISR). If eligible, many of our graduates may be able to bypass the harsh consequences of being charged with or convicted of a felony. We also vigorously defend your record, and sometimes with an experienced attorney and a thorough investigation, we can prevent certain charges from even being filed.

Statistics show that a felony conviction dramatically affects a person's life. A felony conviction can make employment difficult and is, therefore, associated with poverty and the social stigma associated with it.

The consequences of a felony are numerous and varied. Sentences can range from one year in a standard prison for more minor crimes to a death sentence and more for aggravated murders and other brutal crimes. Circumstances are affecting sentencing range from the type of crime (aggravated vs. non-aggravated murder), to the characteristics of the criminal, to the criminal history of the offender, and more.

If your felony charge is adjudicated in criminal court, you could also be subject to several other potential punishments. For example, your charge could result in the imposition of fines, fees, or restitution, as well as probation or parole. States have the power to decide what punishments they will impose, so it would be ill-advised to assume that your state's laws would be the same as the state where the incident occurred.

Changing a Misdemeanor to a Felony

You can always defend criminal charges, but to successfully do so, you need the assistance of an attorney. Servicing a felony charge isn't always an all-or-nothing situation; for example, you can defer your felony case by completing a probationary term in place of conviction. Depending on the circumstances, you can even argue for a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Instead of going to trial, a defendant being prosecuted for a felony may agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduction of the charges. This is a form of plea bargain typically made by prosecutors, which is usually an attempt to "settle" the case and save money by avoiding a lengthy and expensive trial.

The lesser included offense law states that a defendant can be found guilty of the lesser crime, even if it doesn't necessarily follow the crime for which the defendant is on trial. For example, if the defendant was on trial for felony burglary, they can be found guilty of misdemeanor trespassing.