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What are felony charges and why are they so serious?

Felony criminal charges are serious criminal charges which can deprive the accused individual of their freedom and future. Individuals who are facing felony charges may wonder what felony charges are and why they are so serious. In general, felony charges are considered the most serious types of criminal charges and can be punished by a year or greater in prison.

In addition to a year or greater in prison, felonies are also usually punished with a fine. Felonies are also usually charged by degree in each state depending on the severity of the alleged crime and the felony charged. Felonies differ from misdemeanor charges which are commonly considered less serious and are punished, as a general rule, by one year or less in jail rather than prison. Felony charges also create a serious criminal record.

A criminal record can cause an accused individual difficulty related to employment, education and housing opportunities. In addition, because felony charges threaten incarceration and the loss of the accused individual's freedom, it is important for any individual who has been accused of a felony and is facing felony charges to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and options. Criminal defense rights allow accused individuals to challenge the charges against them based on the facts of the alleged incident, witness statements and the conduct of police.

A strong criminal defense strategy examines all options available to the accused individual to help reduce or eliminate the charges and penalties the accused individual is facing altogether. Because so much is on the line when felony charges are involved, accused individuals should be familiar with their criminal defense rights as they proceed through the criminal justice system on their case.

Source: Criminal.findlaw.com, "Felonies," Accessed March 27, 2018

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