Felony and misdemeanor are legal terms describing the seriousness of a crime.
A felony is a very serious crime. Felonies generally carry long prison sentences of a year or more. Examples of a felony are attempted murder and cocaine trafficking.
In Pennsylvania, there are 3 classes of Felonies (Felony 1, Felony 2, Felony 3), for which the maximum penalties are:
- Felony 1: Up to 20 years in prison
- Felony 2: Up to 10 years in prison
- Felony 3: Up to 7 years in prison.
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime. Misdemeanors carry shorter prison sentences. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include simple possession of marijuana, simple assault and battery, and tampering with an electric meter.
There are also 3 classes of Misdemeanors (Misdemeanor 1, Misdemeanor 2, Misdemeanor 3), for which the maximum penalties under Pennsylvania law if found guilty, are:
- Misdemeanor 1: Up to 5 years in prison
- Misdemeanor 2: Up to 3 years in prison
- Misdemeanor 3: Up to 1 year in prison
You may also face a summary offense where you could face up to thirty days in jail.
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