Felonies are any criminal offenses that result in a year or more in prison. These are the highest offenses in the legal system, and charges range from property damage to violent crimes. When it comes to punishment and sentencing, felonies are often classified into different levels, similar to misdemeanor charges.
A class D felony is the lowest classified offense in most states. Every state uses different terminology and classifications for lower felony offenses like this. We’ll go over what you need to know about class D felonies and similar charges, and what else you need to know about a felony charge.
Also Read: Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Class D Felonies and Other Lower Level Offenses
Felonies are classified based on the nature of the crime. Just like how a misdemeanor can become a felony depending on the situation, a felony charge can become more serious depending on the circumstances. In the case of class D or level 4 felonies, they are the least serious of all the felony charges.
Felonies are the most serious charge you can receive. And although punishments change from state to state, even a class D felony can have expensive fines and up to 10 years in prison. Class D felonies may include:
- Destuction of property, such as arson and vandalism.
- Grand theft with a minimum property value of $500.
- Violent crimes, such as first and second degree murder.
|Felony||Maximum prison time||Maximum fine||Probation term||Maximum supervised release|
|Class A||Life sentence or the death penalty||$250,000||1-5 years||5 years|
|Class B||Up to 25 years||$250,000||5 years|
|Class C||Between 10 to 25 years||$250,000||3 years|
|Class D||Between five to 10 years||$250,000||3 years|
|Class E||Between one to five years||$250,000||1 year|
Also Read: Misdemeanor Vs. Felony Charges and Sentences
Difference Between Felony and a Misdemeanor
The biggest difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the sentencing time, or rather, the “punishment” for the crime. Felonies also tend to have some kind of “victim” associated with the crime and are generally more violent than misdemeanors.
For example, let’s say you’re facing a DUI charge. If it was only you in the vehicle, then it’ll likely be classified as a misdemeanor charge. However, if there was a minor in the car, the DUI charge would increase to a felony because you’ve endangered a child.
Misdemeanors have three basic levels: class A, class B, and class C. Just like felonies, misdemeanors are also classified differently by state. You can read more about it here.
Also Read: Levels of Misdemeanors By State
|Misdemeanor||Maximum jail time||Maximum fine||Maximum supervised release|
|Class A||Up to one year||$100,000||1 year|
|Class B||Up to six months||$5,000||1 year|
|Class C||Up to 30 days||$5,000||1 year|
An infraction, the lowest charge someone can receive, only has a maximum jail time of 5 days or less, and only has up to a $5,000 fine. Probation for infractions is generally less than a year-long, or nonexistent.
Felony Levels By State
Felonies are classified differently by state. At the federal level, felonies are broken down into five categories: class A, class B, class C, class D, and class E. At the state level, felonies are classified differently based on the severity of the crime. The only states that classify low-level felonies as “class D” felonies include:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
In many states, crimes are classified differently. For example, in Hawaii and Illinois, murder is classified as a different kind of felony. Below is a list of felony classifications by state.
|State||Felony Levels (Highest to Lowest)|
|Alabama||Class A, B, or C|
|Alaska||Class A, B, or C|
|Arizona||Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6|
|Arkansas||Class Y, A, B, C, or D|
|Colorado||Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or unclassified|
|Connecticut||Class A, B, C, or D|
|Delaware||Class A, B, C, D, E, F, or G|
|Florida||Capitol, Life, First, second, and third-degree felony|
|Hawaii||Class A, B, or C|
|Illinois||Class X, 1, 2, 3, or 4|
|Indiana||Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6|
|Iowa||Class A, B, C, or D|
|Kentucky||Class A, B, C, or D|
|Maine||Class A, B, or C|
|Michigan||Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H|
|Missouri||Class A, B, C, D, or E|
|Nebraska||Class I, IA, IB, IC, ID, II, III, IIIA, or IV|
|Nevada||Class A, B, C, D, or E|
|New Hampshire||Class A or B|
|New Jersey||First, second, third, or fourth-degree felony|
|New Mexico||Capital, first, second, third, or fourth-degree felony|
|New York||Class A-I, A-II, B, C, D, or E|
|North Carolina||Class A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, or I|
|North Dakota||Class AA, A, B, or C|
|Ohio||First, second, third, fourth, fifth-degree felony|
|Oregon||Class A, B, C, or unclassified|
|Pennsylvania||First, second, third-degree felony; and unclassified felony|
|Rhode Island||By crime|
|South Carolina||Class A, B, C, D, E, or F|
|South Dakota||Class A, B, or C|
|Tennessee||Class A, B, C, D, or E|
|Texas||Capital felony; first, second, or third-degree felony; and state jail felony|
|Utah||Capital felony; and first, second, or third-degree felony|
|Virginia||Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or by crime|
|Washington||Class A, B, or C|
|West Virginia||By crime|
|Wisconsin||Class A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or I|
Defenses to a Class D Felony Charge
The first step to getting a good defense is to hire a good lawyer. You can consult with a local expert when you call MyCaseHelper.com. In many cases, you can either have the charge lowered to a misdemeanor, causing less of an impact on your life and future, or have the charges dropped altogether.
Other common defenses you can possibly use against a class D felony charge:
- Self defense can be a powerful defesne against even the most violent acts. If you felt your life was endangered by another party and your actions were pruely out of self preservation, you can use self defense to jusify your actions.
- Defense of others is another effective defense against violent charges. Youll likely need a witness who can advocate for your actions.
- An alibi can help confirm you’re wrongly accused of the alledge crimes. You will require the help of a witness either at the scene or with you at the time to testify.
- Not meeting the burden of proof is another way prosecuters can’t procceed with felony charges against someone. It is on the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you really committed a crime.
Not having a good defense is the easiest way to convict yourself of a felony. Being convicted of a felony, even a low-level class D felony, can have serious consequences. Convicted felons often struggle to stay a part of society and forego rights to vote, own firearms, work in certain fields, and qualify for government programs like affordable housing.
There are many places and opportunities for convicted felons that a seasoned criminal lawyer can help you find. However, avoiding a guilty conviction is the best way to hire a quality criminal lawyer. If you want to get in consult with a criminal lawyer in your state, all you need to do is call MyCaseHelper.com.
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