Facing any type of criminal charge is a stressful and worrisome situation. It's important to know, however, that not all crimes are equal in the eye of the law. Some charges can be on the less severe side of things, but when the word "felony" is mentioned, a person may grow increasingly concerned for their future. Understanding the differences between misdemeanor crimes (lesser) and felonies (more serious) can help those in such situations have a more clear understanding of what may happen.
Misdemeanor crimes are a step up from the lesser infractions, but still can carry signification penalties if not handled correctly. Typically, a misdemeanor is classified as a crime that has the potential to be punished by up to one year of jail time. There are other ways of classifying these types of crimes - they are defined fairly flexibly by the prosecutor handling them. These flexibilities can include punishments, what exact crimes to charge an individual with and what types of plea bargains can be negotiated.
Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and can carry much stricter penalties. Where misdemeanors are typically defined by crimes that can be punished with up to one year of jail time, felonies are typically defined as crimes that carry punishments of more than one year of jail time. They are crimes that are viewed as heinous by society's standards such as murder, kidnapping, arson and more.
Regardless of how severe the crime may appear to be, however, everyone has the right to be represented by a legal professional. Having experienced representation in such situations can be of great importance in formulating a solid defense and handling the case as best as possible in general. Seeking the assistance of a qualified attorney can help those facing such charges to get a firm grasp on the situation.