Warner Robins, Georgia
123 -B Carl Vinson Parkway
Warner Robins, GA 31088

A Defense Attorney Explains How Felonies Are Classified December 12, 2016

Warner Robins, Houston
A Defense Attorney Explains How Felonies Are Classified, Warner Robins, Georgia

Each state has a complex system for classifying crimes, often making it difficult for residents to accurately anticipate how a crime will be sentenced and punished. The Warner Robins criminal defense attorneys at The Walker Firm walk clients and their families through the criminal sentencing process and let them know exactly what to expect if a guilty verdict is handed down.

An Attorney Explains Common Classification Systems

In determining the punishment in a felony case, each state has its own way of classifying the severity of the crime and administering a sentence.

Classes & Levels

Some states classify felonies into subcategories of crime; states refer to these subcategories as classes or levels. Which subcategory a crime falls into depends on the seriousness of the crime, and each specifies a sentence or sentence range. Since every felony crime falls within one of these classes, a person can know what sentence to expect for each particular crime. Other states classify their crimes in terms of numeric levels instead of classes, but the concept is essentially the same.


Some states do not use subcategories and simply assign a sentence based on the severity of a crime; Georgia is one of these states. For many crimes, the judge will take several factors into consideration before determining a sentence. These include the offender’s past criminal history, their employment record, their family situation, and their current living environment. However, for more serious felonies, Georgia has mandatory minimum sentences the judge must adhere to.

Mixed Approach

AttorneyOther states utilize the subcategories system for most crimes, but a select few are subject to the sentencing outlined in the specific statute that defines the crime. For instance, in Colorado many crimes are classified as Level 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, and, as such, are subject to the sentence specified for each level. However, other crimes may be classified as “unclassified offenses”; in these instances, the statute defining the offense should specify what sentence the crime deserves.

Federal Felonies

Federal felonies are classified differently than they are at state level. Each federal felony is assigned to one of 43 offense levels, and each criminal defendant is placed into one of six criminal history categories. In a federal felony case, the point at which the two assigned numbers meet is the offender’s sentence range.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony in Georgia, the criminal defense attorneys at The Walker Firm can help you navigate both the state and federal felony classification systems. The best way to prepare for your hearing is to know exactly what is at stake. To consult with a Warner Robins attorney today, call (478) 923-4152 or visit their website to schedule a free initial consultation.

Other Announcements, Events and Deals from The Walker Firm
Defense Attorneys Share 4 Common Myths About Shoplifting, Warner Robins, Georgia
Shoplifting may seem like a minor offense, but being caught and charged can have serious long-term consequences, even if the value of the item wasn't very high. Most retailers take s...read more
3 Common Contributors to Truck Driving Accidents: Insights From a Car Accident Lawyer, Warner Robins, Georgia
In the United States, the legal weight limit of a semi-truck is 40 tons. The weight of the average automobile is 5,000 lbs. When you compare these two numbers, you see the potential ...read more
A DUI Lawyer Explains How a Conviction Could Impact Your Job Prospects, Warner Robins, Georgia
A DUI conviction can impact nearly every area of your life, potentially costing you thousands of dollars in fees and penalties, your driving privileges, and even your auto insurance ...read more
A Guide to Field Sobriety Tests From a Leading DUI Lawyer, Warner Robins, Georgia
There are three standardized field sobriety tests that police use to gather evidence of a motorist’s inebriation. Determining if an individual passes or fails these tests is purely s...read more
Changes to Georgia's Expungement Laws & Criminal Law Charges, Warner Robins, Georgia
In the past few years, the state of Georgia has revisited some of its expungement laws relating to certain criminal law charges. Anyone with a previous or current criminal ...read more