As per the regulations stipulated in the criminal law in the country, felony can be defined as criminal acts, both violent and non-violent that are categorized as the most serious of offenses out there. That being said, in a majority of the states, crimes can be classified either as a felony or a misdemeanor. In some cases, a third category called violation is also included which is usually punishable by means of penalties and fines and do not require the violator to complete any jail time. Following are the various aspects that define a criminal act as a felony.

What is a felony?

Regarded as the most serious type of offense in the eyes of the federal law, a felony is distinguishable from other acts of crime in the sense that it typically requires the perpetrator to go through a prison sentence of a period greater than a year and often pay substantial penalties. Given the gravity of punishment involved, all felony cases are supported by thorough cross-examination in the court of law in order to ensure the preservation of the rights of the defendants. Some of the crimes that are typically classified as a felony include arson, kidnapping, burglary, rape, and murder. More often than not, the felony charges are decided by the level of severity of the crime.

What are the legal implications of a felony?

An individual who has been convicted of a felony will typically be required to serve their jail time in either a federal or a state correctional institution known as a penitentiary or a prison. Since the sentence is spread over several years or even decades worth of time, the convicted might be transferred from one prison to another during the course of his/her sentence to align with the administrative requirements of the correctional facilities. The trial is usually carried out in the presence of the jury who are vested with the right to decide upon the final judgment. In case the defendant is unable to afford an attorney to battle his/her case, the court will then provide him/her with one.

In addition to the massive fines and prison sentences, individuals convicted of felony charges in some states are also prohibited to ever serve as a jury member, acquire any kind of firearms or ammunition and be employed in certain professions including military, teaching or law.

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