First Degree FelonyCommitting a crime involving murder, arson, aggravated assault and battery, aggravated kidnapping, manslaughter, grand larceny, rape, constitutes a first-degree felony. One cannot confuse a serious felony charge with a misdemeanor. Both are illegal, but a misdemeanor is not as serious a crime as a first-degree felony charge.
Violent and Non Violent Crimes
Felonies carry a potential life sentence, and may even result in the death penalty. This is not a blanket clause; each state has their own sets of rules and regulations about the rule of law based on violent and nonviolent crimes.
Usually, a felony charge does not go into a life sentence. The sentence is a longer duration than a misdemeanor. Not every felony involves violence. Based on the nature of the crime, the state may look at the evidence provided and award a sentence accordingly. Across America, many states have the statutes that they follow where past crimes of the convict are factored in before the conviction and sentence.
Non-violent felony charges include money laundering, fraud, tax evasion, and grand larceny. There are debates about this because while financial crimes are committed the crime itself does pose harm to the victim. Of course, based on the legal arguments put forward on both sides the judge may examine the victim and the crime differently and award punishment by the nature and the seriousness of the offense.
Violent felonies pose a threat in every sphere of life. To an individual, families, institutions, organizations, etc. For instance, if a person happens to carry on her/his person a firearm and takes it to school or college and is caught, s/he may be charged with a violent felony. The reason being that the individual/s carried a loaded gun into the premises of a school with the idea of inflicting harm.
Violence against property is also considered a violent felony. Thrashing a building, setting it on fire (arson), with the intent to inflict bodily harm and cause disturbance to the surroundings. Individuals indulging in violent crimes such as these are bound to be locked away because the intent is clear.
When there is aggravated assault and rape added to the crime, the death penalty may be on the cards. Alternatively, the felon may be put in a max security prison where s/he will not be entitled to parole or bail because s/he is a flight risk.
The Consequence of a First Degree Felony
Courts take cognizance of the felon’s previous record, if any and if the person is a first timer the sentence may be reduced based on the strategy of the defense. Naturally, the prosecution has to put forward their arguments to ensure that the criminal who committed the crime is awarded a sentence befitting the crime. If the judge views the felon from every angle and considers the person to be a deterrent to society because of the harm s/he inflicts, the individual, even though s/he is a first-timer, will be locked away. Based on the nature of the crime of course.
The felony tag has long-term consequences for people who have been in jail. When a felon is out on the streets, people view her/him with suspicion believing that s/he may be back to her/his old ways. The public generally worries about being in the midst of serious offenders who may or may not be rehabilitated when they are out of jail.
A rapist most is a fearful character to be back on the streets, because one may never know when the perp will strike. Employers also refrain from offering employment to convicted felons. Some felons may not enjoy the fundamental right of voting, and will never be able to carry firearms. A felon is expected to make restitution to the victim or the families of victims that s/he caused harm to, and pay for the losses incurred by the victim.
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