If you are facing criminal charges, you probably know the reason why. Do you stand accused of breaking into a store to liberate some computer equipment, or perhaps of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Whatever the charges, after an arrest it’s time to take some sensible steps in your defense. The first question to ask your lawyer is, how serious are the charges you face? In Utah and most other states, the basic difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the penalty. Penalties tend to track with the seriousness of the crime. Misdemeanors and felonies are categorized — a felony is more severe than a misdemeanor, while a Class A misdemeanor is more serious than a Class C misdemeanor like public intoxication.
Types of misdemeanors include:
Types of felonies include:
Both misdemeanors and felonies result in incarceration. A misdemeanor conviction is served in jail. A felony time is served in either jail or prison.
While misdemeanors are lesser crimes, conviction guarantees a criminal record that may mean lost educational, employment, social and volunteer opportunities far into your future. Whether misdemeanor or felony, the more serious the crime, the more impact it has on your life. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help minimize that impact.