Varying degrees of felony offenses indicate the appropriate punishment. Generally, a felony is any offense punishable by at least one year of incarceration. Degrees of felonies are regulated by Federal and State legislation. A person can be sentenced to death for a felony conviction in states where the death penalty exists.
To consult State legislation regarding felony laws and regulations please go to the Criminal Code by State page.
Felonies Law - US
- ABA - Criminal Justice Section
Founded in 1920, the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association has over 20,000 members including prosecutors, private defense counsel, appellate and trial judges, law professors, correctional and law enforcement personnel, law students, public defenders, and other criminal justice professionals. With its diverse, multi-disciplinary membership, the Criminal Justice Section is uniquely situated to address the pressing issues facing today's criminal justice system.
- ABA - Criminal Law - Felonies vs Misdemeanors - Overview
Felonies are more serious crimes than misdemeanors. Robbery, kidnapping, rape, and murder are examples of felonies. Public drunkenness, resisting arrest, and simple battery are misdemeanors. However, the same offense might be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on its degree. Petty larceny (stealing an item worth less than a certain dollar amount) is a misdemeanor. Over that amount, the offense is grand theft (a felony). Similarly, the first offense of driving while intoxicated may be a misdemeanor. After a certain number of convictions for that same offense, the state may prosecute the next violation as felony drunk driving.
- Catching Criminals with DNA Technology
Only violent and sex offenders must now provide DNA samples to the Crime Lab. The Governor's 2002 legislation requires additional samples from adults and juveniles convicted of any felony, plus misdemeanor stalking, harassment or communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Correctional staff will obtain saliva swabs, instead of the blood samples now required at much higher cost. The Crime Lab will store the samples and contract to enter them into the databank as federal funding becomes available. The databank may be accessed only for criminal investigations, identifying bodies, and finding missing persons.
- CODIS - FBI
The CODIS Unit manages the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) and is responsible for developing, providing, and supporting the CODIS Program to federal, state, and local crime laboratories in the United States and selected international law enforcement crime laboratories to foster the exchange and comparison of forensic DNA evidence from violent crime investigations. The CODIS Unit also provides administrative management and support to the FBI for various advisory boards, Department of Justice (DOJ) grant programs, and legislation regarding DNA.
- DOJ - Criminal Division
The Criminal Division develops, enforces, and supervises the application of all federal criminal laws except those specifically assigned to other divisions. The Division, and the 93 U.S. Attorneys have the responsibility for overseeing criminal matters under the more than 900 statutes as well as certain civil litigation. Criminal Division attorneys prosecute many nationally significant cases. In addition to its direct litigation responsibilities, the Division formulates and implements criminal enforcement policy and provides advice and assistance. For example, the Division approves or monitors sensitive areas of law enforcement such as participation in the Witness Security Program and the use of electronic surveillance; advises the Attorney General, Congress, the Office of Management Budget and the White House on matters of criminal law; provides legal advice and assistance to federal prosecutors and investigative agencies; and provides leadership for coordinating international as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement matters.
- Felon Disenfranchisement
In 2004, 5.3 million Americans were denied the right to vote because of laws that prohibit voting by people with felony convictions. In all but two states (Maine & Vermont), felons are deprived of voting rights while serving their sentence. In ten states, felons are deprived of voting rights for life.  In the remaining 34 states, felons' voting rights are restored at some point after their sentence has been completed.
- Felony - Definition
A felony is a serious crime in the United States and previously other common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Most[which?] common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between summary offences and indictable offences. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the Federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor.
- Felony Process in the United States
The Washington Post says more than 1 of every 100 Americans is incarcerated. This is the highest rate of any country. Longer prison terms for drug crimes, and more severe penalties for all types of crimes are partly responsible. States have gotten tougher by changing the classification of offenses from misdemeanors to felonies. This is true for various traffic offenses. Many jurisdictions have added aggravating factors to change misdemeanor driving under the influence charges to felonies. Often first offenders are felony eligible for getting a DUI without having car insurance or having a license suspended for any reason.
- Most Common Felony Crimes
What are the most common felonies committed in the US? What are common punishments for these felonies? A list of the 20 most common felonies in the US.
- National ID and the REAL ID Act
According to Tim Richardson of the Fraternal Order of Police, the Real ID Act will help law enforcement officers to obtain accurate information of any person that they are contacting. The current complaint from law enforcement is that they do not have accurate and reliable data about convicted felons, because the information from the databases of each state and federal agency is not shared among them. As a result, the lives of the officers are at risk, since they do not fully know if the person they are contacting is convicted felon.
Organizations Related to Felonies Law
- DNA Initiative
Providing funding, training and assistance to ensure that forensic DNA reaches its full potential to solve crimes, protect the innocent and identify missing persons.
- Federal Sentencing
Pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, the law governing the provision of federal criminal defense services to those unable to afford representation, the Office of Defender Services (ODS) of the Administrative Office of Pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, the law governing the provision of federal criminal defense services to those unable to afford representation, the Office of Defender Services (ODS) of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, primarily through the ODS Training Branch (ODSTB), provides substantial training and other resource support to Federal Defender Organization (FDO) staff and CJA panel attorneys.
- Felon Search
You deserve to know where felons are and should have access to free public criminal background check systems. Remember, safety starts with good information, even if it ends with a loaded .44 caliber pistol. While FelonSpy.com can’t help you get a gun, we can certainly help you figure out which direction to point it in.
- Felony Conviction Records
Instantly access criminal records databases & get information on sex offenders, felony conviction records, civil court records as well as many other criminal court records.
FelonyGuide.com is owned by Jail Media, the leading provider of information about county jails in the United States. All content has been created by experts in the field of criminal justice. This information is not intended to take the place of legal advice - since your situation is case-dependent you should seek the advice of a competent professional.
- Prison Policy Initiative
Home Page > About About the Prison Policy Initiative The non-profit, non-partisan Prison Policy Initiative documents the impact of mass incarceration on individuals, communities, and the national welfare. We produce accessible and innovative research to empower the public to participate in improving criminal justice policy. The Prison Policy Initiative is most famous for documenting the distortion in our democratic process caused by the Census Bureau counting people where they are confined, not where they come from.
Publications Related to Felonies Law
- Felony - FAQs
A felony charge is a serious matter that should never be taken lightly. If you have been charged with a felony, it is important to learn what you can about your circumstances and contact an attorney. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions people have about felony cases.
- National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) - Felonies
NCJRS is a federally funded resource offering justice and substance abuse information to support research, policy, and program development worldwide.
Articles on HG.org Related to Felonies Law
- Federal Child Porn Sentencing GuidelinesIn imposing sentences in Federal Court judges are required to consider the advisory sentencing guidelines adopted by the United States Sentencing Commission.
- The Bail Review Problem in Maryland Criminal JusticeOften times defendants without legal representation end up getting held for criminal offenses when they shouldn’t be.
- Resentencing of a Three Strikes Sentence Often Involves Difficult Document Gathering ChallengesProposition 36 amended the state's Three Strikes Law due to overcrowding of state prisons.
- Conviction Upheld for Possession of an Assault Weapon Although AK-47 DisassembledThe reader of this article may understand that a .50-cal weapon fires a very large round, one that probably can take down a hippopotamus or even perhaps an elephant. It is used in the military often to penetrate buildings with stucco and drywall (the author of this article is a former Marine with seven years of active duty service, including combat experience).
- 17 Year Old May Be Charged as an Adult with Federal 2nd Degree Murder Based on Lay TestimonyCongress established six factors that a district court must consider to determine if such a transfer is in “the interest of justice.”
- Classes of Felonies in FloridaMost states classify their felonies by class, ”a class D felony ” is a term that is often heard. Florida does not have Felonies that are classified by letter.
- Thirteen New Crime-Related Laws to Know for 2013This article’s focus is narrower. The following new laws affect criminal liability, as they are additions to the Penal Code and involve criminal liability, meaning jail, prison, fines, seizure or forfeiture of assets. The laws are referred to by the AB or SB number, or Assembly Bill and Senate Bill number, respectively. Their statutory reference in the Penal Code will be established shortly, but are not at this time.
- What is a STATIC-99 Report?Prosecutors often ask for STATIC-99 report to document how dangerous a defendant is and to support a longer sentence or more onerous plea bargain.
- Judge Rules DUI Field Tests InaccurateAccording to a recent report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, on December 31, a Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judge ruled that machines, known as Breathalyzers and Intoxilyzers, cannot be considered accurate for specific blood-alcohol levels.
- What is Indecent Exposure (Penal Code § 314)“Exposing oneself” means to reveal your entire naked body. Exposing one’s “private parts” means to show your bare genitals. Showing a bare female breast is not considered exposing one’s “private parts” (or else breastfeeding mothers might face indecent exposure charges). Similarly, flashing someone your under wear, no matter how revealing or skimpy, is not indecent exposure for purposes of Penal Code § 314.
- All Criminal Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Criminal Law including: arson, assault, battery, bribery, burglary, child abuse, child pornography, computer crime, controlled substances, credit card fraud, criminal defense, criminal law, drugs and narcotics, DUI, DWI, embezzlement, fraud, expungements, felonies, homicide, identity theft, manslaughter, money laundering, murder, perjury, prostitution, rape, RICO, robbery, sex crimes, shoplifting, theft, weapons, white collar crime and wire fraud.