Is a Felony or a Misdemeanor Worse?

Is a Felony or a Misdemeanor Worse?

misdemeanor arrest

Felony vs Misdemeanor

Neither felony and misdemeanor arrests are not good, but in Georgia, or any state, when comparing felonies vs misdemeanors, a felony charge is worse than a misdemeanor charge. Felony and misdemeanor charges both stay on your record, both can affect your employment, but the felony has more repercussions. How is a felony different from a misdemeanor? 

The law in Georgia law has established two classes of misdemeanors. Each misdemeanor has a specific range of penalties. The state law also assigns penalties based on crime-by-crime for felonies. These are what makes it challenging for the average common person to identify the potential penalties they may be faced when they are convicted of felony or misdemeanor charges. 

The following is a brief  outline of the statutory penalties the state of Georgia has established for misdemeanors and standard misdemeanors of a high and aggravated nature. 

1. Misdemeanor Penalties 

Twelve months is the dividing line between a felony and misdemeanor. A felony can carry  a punishment of  over a year, even multiple years, in the state penitentiary. All misdemeanors can face a punishment up to 12 months in jail.

  • Penalties for Standard Misdemeanors – Up to 1 year in jail or diversion center with a $1,000 fine with possible probation and a suspended sentence. 
  • Penalties for High and Aggravated Misdemeanors – Up to 1 year in jail with a $5,000 fine with possible probation and a suspended sentence.

The difference between a standard misdemeanor and a high and aggravated misdemeanor is based on a criminal history of repeat offenders and other circumstances. Those other circumstances can include battery against a family member, senior, or expectant mother and aggressive driving. 

2. Felony Sentences Examples 

A felony penalty can  be sentenced to one year in prison or a death penalty and various other levels in between. Examples of these possible penalties: 

  • Aggravated assault – One to twenty years prison time, a minimum sentences of 3 to 5 years when assault is against the elderly or peace officers.
  • Aggravated battery – One to twenty years prison time, including a fine, a minimum sentences of 3 to 5 years when assault is against the elderly or peace officers.
  • Marijuana possession –  for personal use of over 1 ounce or the possession with intent to distribute in an amount of ten pounds or less could face one to ten years prison time with a $5,000 fine.
  • Rape – Minimum of 25 years in prison followed by life probation, death, or life.
  • Robbery – One to twenty years prison time with 5 year minimum sentence for offense against a person of 65 years old or older. 

What is the lowest misdemeanor?

The standard misdemeanor charges are the lowest of all charges in Georgia. Crimes that face a standard misdemeanor charge are the act of battery against a family member, senior, or expectant mother and aggressive driving. These are punished by the following: 

  • a $1,000 fine minimum
  • up to 1 year in county jail
  • a fine and time behind bars, or
  • up to 1 year in a state diversion center.

Minority crimes can include various degrees of the following:

  • Assault and battery.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • Drug charges.
  • DUI.
  • Perjury.
  • Probation violations.
  • Reckless and careless driving.
  • Weapons charges.

How many misdemeanors is a felony?

Because of the severity differences of felony and misdemeanor, there isn’t a set number of misdemeanors to change into a felony. To upgrade from a misdemeanor to felony is determined by either the surrounding circumstances of the arrest and the arrested person’s criminal history. 

What happens if a felon gets a misdemeanor?

When a person is arrested on a misdemeanor and they have prior felony conviction, punishment will be the judge’s discretion. Factors that are considered is the surrounding circumstances of the misdemeanor arrest, the felony history, and other factors of the arrested person. 

What are the 7 felonies?

 In 1995, the state of Georgia pass a law referred to as the “Seven Deadly Sins” law. The punishment for the list of crimes that follows was a first felony minimum 10 years prison time and no parole and a second felony punished by life in prison with no parole. Among those felonies, the top 7 that can be faced with these punishments are: 

  • Assault.
  • Arson.
  • Drug Crimes.
  • Kidnapping.
  • Prostitution Promotion.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault. 
  • Theft.

Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor?

Yes, in some cases, felony charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor charge with any of these situations: 

  • Plea bargain.
  • Mistake by arresting officer.
  • Mistake with investigation.
  • Good behavior during probation.

So, with the information in this article, the question of “Is a misdemeanor better than a felony?” is yes, but only by a slim 12 month incarceration. As soon as a person is arrested of felony and misdemeanor charges, the first thing they need to do is hire a criminal defense attorney. If the crime is specifically alcohol or drug related, a criminal defense attorney that specializes in those crimes. Call 706-353-6467 today for felony bail assistance in Jefferson, GA.