A felony is defined as a crime that carries a minimum of one year or more in a state prison and/or is sufficiently serious enough to be punishable by death.
What Types of Crimes are Felonies?
Felonies carry a minimum of one year in a state prison and are broadly defined as either being a violent or non-violent felony. Felonies include the following crimes:
- 1. Murder
- 2. Rape
- 3. Robbery and burglary
- 4. Aggravated assault and/or battery
- 5. Arson
- 6. Various types of fraud
- 7. Drug manufacturing, selling, trafficking, or possession of certain illegal drugs
- 8. Possession of certain drugs (depends on the state) without intent to distribute
- 9. Grand larceny or grand theft
- 10. Vandalism
- 11. Treason
- 12. Kidnapping
- 13. Perjury
- 14. Check fraud
- 15. Copyright infringement
Most states classify felonies in a category of classes, based on the seriousness of the crime and the potential punishment once convicted. These classifications vary from state-to-state, and are determined by the legislature; generally, each class has a maximum punishment allowable for the class of crime.
Following imprisonment, convicted felons may face long-term consequences -- the status of "convicted felon" is considered permanent, even upon completion of a sentence. The only way to clear the felon status is through an appeal or executive clemency. Depending on the crime and state, however, felons may appeal for restoring some of their rights following a period of time.