Getting charged with a felony or misdemeanor infraction could have an impact on your finances and freedom. When dealing with such charges, it's important to understand how criminal law works and what the basic differences are between felonies and misdemeanors. Below, the criminal law attorney at The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh in Ava, MO, discusses a few of these differences in more detail.
Your Guide to Criminal Law
1. The Nature of the Crime
A distinguishing factor between felonies and misdemeanors is the nature of the crime that was committed. Felony classifications are usually reserved for higher level crimes and offenses, such as homicide, sexual assault, and armed robbery. Misdemeanors are often less serious infractions. In Missouri, every felony or misdemeanor is assigned a letter-number ranking; a class A felony is more serious than a class B felony, which is more serious than a class C, and so on.
The consequences for felonies are harsher than they are for misdemeanors. For instance, with a class A felony conviction in Missouri, the guilty party will receive either life in prison or the death penalty. Contrast that with consequences for a class C misdemeanor, such as prostitution, which comes with a $750 fine or up to 15 days in jail.
3. Jail Time
In many cases, those convicted of a crime will serve their jail time in different locations depending on whether they are guilty of a felony or misdemeanor. Those with felony convictions are often sentenced to state or federal correctional institutions. Those with misdemeanor convictions are usually given jail time in a city or county jail.
Whatever the degree of charges you're facing is, trust turn to The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh. With more than two decades of criminal law experience, Attorney Swatosh helps Douglas County residents find workable legal solutions. Call (417) 683-2987 or message him on Facebook to arrange an appointment with a criminal attorney today.