What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

In any state, it is important to understand not only the type of crime you are charged with, but also the possible sentence that you can get if found guilty. The details of each case are different. You need an experienced criminal attorney to help you navigate through the process.

There are two types of criminal offenses: Misdemeanors and Felonies.

MISDEMEANORS

Offenses that are punishable by a year or less in the House of Corrections are misdemeanors. Misdemeanors in New Hampshire are categorized into two distinct classes: Class A & Class B. Crimes such as marijuana possession, disorderly conduct, DWI second offense, Aggravated DWI and shoplifting are typically Class A misdemeanors and can carry punishments of up to 12 months in jail and a $2,000 fine. Class B misdemeanors may impose up to a $1,200 fine but no risk of jail. Class B misdemeanors may not impose jail time; however, they are still criminal offenses on your record which could affect employment opportunities.

FELONIES

Offenses punishable by more than a year in state prison are felonies. These are also divided into two categories: Class A and Class B. Class A felonies are the most serious crimes. If you are found guilty of a Class A felony in New Hampshire, you can face a maximum sentence of 7 ½ to 15 years along with a fine of up to $4,000. Crimes that can be considered Class A felonies include sexual assaults, burglaries, theft of very high amounts and assaults that result in serious bodily injury.

Class B felonies carry a penalty of 3 ½ to 7 years in state prison if you are convicted.

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