The definition of a felony is a major crime with a minimum penalty of one year in prison.
Felony Degree Rankings
Each type of felony is classified using a degree ranking. This degree ranking uses a letter or a number, and the rank determines how serious the crime is. These rankings usually differ from state to state; however, violent felonies are often considered more serious crimes than non violent crimes.
Types of Felonies
There are two different types of felonies:
- A violent crime - a crime in which the individual who committed the crime presented a serious risk of injury to another individual. For example, a crime in which the individual used a gun or a weapon would be considered a violent felony.
- A non-violent crime - a crime in which the individual who committed the crime did not present a serious risk of injury to another individual. For example, possession of an illegal substance is considered a non-violent felony.
After an individual is released from prison after committing a felony, he or she still suffers consequences from the government:
- The individual may lose their right to vote.
- The individual may not be eligible for certain licenses.
- The individual may be deported.
An example of felony is rape, arson, or kidnapping.
Origin of felonyMiddle English felonie ; from Old French ; from Medieval Latin felonia, treason, treachery ; from felo, felon
nounpl. fel·o·nies Law
- One of several serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or robbery, punishable by a more stringent sentence than that given for a misdemeanor.
- Any of several crimes in early English law that were punishable by forfeiture of land or goods and by capital or other serious punishment.
felony - Legal Definition