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What makes a misdemeanor different from a felony?

Facing a criminal charge is a threat to your future, freedom and opportunities. You understand that it's important to present a strong and thoughtful defense, but where should you start? Are you facing misdemeanor or felony charges? It can be smart to start with a complete understanding of the specific charges you are up against.

You will find it helpful to learn more about the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony charge. This important factor will determine the types of penalties you could be facing and what type of defense strategy you may need. When you understand the case against you, it will be easier to fight to protect your future with a personal, carefully-crafted defense strategy.

What is a felony charge?

A felony charge is the most serious type of criminal offense. Typically, these are crimes punishable by at least one year in prison, if not longer. There are different classes of felonies, and they differ by the amount of prison time possible if convicted. For example, a Class A felony penalties include death or life in prison, but a Class E felony results in one to five years in prison.

The specific penalties and the length of the potential incarceration differ significantly from case to case. With every felony conviction, however, comes penalties that can impact a person for the rest of his or her life. With this type of mark on your criminal record, it can affect everything from educational opportunities to child custody proceedings. The need for a strong defense to confront these charges is serious.

What is a misdemeanor charge?

Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felony crimes. Generally, these crimes are offenses that are punishable by less than one year in jail. Like felonies, misdemeanors fall into different classes with penalties ranging from a few days to just under one year. If convicted of a misdemeanor, it is likely you will serve your time at a local jail instead of a high-security prison.

The right defense for your case

The right defense for your specific situation depends on the type of crime and other factors. No matter the type of charges you are up against, you would be wise to take your situation seriously and work to defend your rights and future interests. It may be helpful to reach out to an experienced Texas defense attorney to understand the specific options available to you.

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
4900 Woodway Drive, Suite 745
Houston, Texas 77056

Toll Free: 888-386-4503
Phone: 713-581-1789
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