Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies

What Misdemeanors and Felonies Mean For You

Interviewer: What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Fred Dry: The definition of a felony is any crime for which you can be sent for a year or more in jail.

Interviewer: Anything underneath that would be a misdemeanor?

Fred Dry: Generally speaking. Now, some jurisdictions are different. Some jurisdictions have more serious misdemeanors that carry more than a year, but that’s generally the distinction. Also, felony time would be served in a penitentiary. Misdemeanor time would be served in a county jail.

Different Levels of Misdemeanors and Felonies

Interviewer: What are some examples of different levels of misdemeanors and felonies?

Fred Dry: Well, in Illinois, we have misdemeanor speeding, Misdemeanor Class A, which is the most harsh misdemeanor, which allows a penalty of up to 364 days in the county jail, a fine of up to $2,500.

A Class B Misdemeanor speeding ticket would be 25 to 34 miles an hour over the speed limit. Class B would permit a fine of up to $1,500 and/or up to six months in the county jail.

Typical Class A Misdemeanors would be domestic battery, DUI other than aggravated DUI, which is a felony. Theft, deceptive practices, battery. These are all Class A Misdemeanors. Most misdemeanors are Class A Misdemeanors, which permit a fine of up to $2,500 or up to 364 days in the county jail.

Time frame of Resolution for a Criminal Case

Interviewer: How long can a criminal case potentially last?

Fred Dry: Most misdemeanors, where there is no trial, are resolved in one or two trips to court. If there is a trial it will take longer. Typically, a felony case will be two to six months. A very serious felony case might take a year. A murder case would probably take longer.

Alternative Punishments in Illinois

Interviewer: Are there any alternative punishments to do?

Fred Dry: Supervision (non-conviction misdemeanor probation) is one of the dispositions available to most misdemeanors. Special drug probation on some felony drug possession cases. These generally include some conditions besides avoiding further arrests.

For misdemeanors and felonies, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

Contact the Law Offices of Fred Mark Dry Now.

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