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What is The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony in Philadelphia?

A misdemeanor in Philadelphia or the Commonwealth  of Pennsylvania carries a maximum sentence of five year’s incarceration and is treated as a lesser included offense. A felony in Philadelphia or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a charge that can carry up to life imprison and is a much more serious offense pursuant to the sentencing guidelines. If unsure whether your charge is considered a felony or misdemeanor, it is likely in your best interest to contact a Philadelphia criminal lawyer as soon as possible.

​Do Felony Offenses Usually Involve Different Elements or Aspects From Misdemeanors?

​Felonies are misdemeanors that involve greater harm both physically or economically done. For instance, a simple assault being a misdemeanor,  if the harm done to another person is alleged to reach a level of serious bodily injury or attempted serious bodily injury, in that case, it would be aggravated assault and that would be charged as a felony.

As for the economic basis, if a person writes a fraudulent check in the amount of $100 up to $1,000, the matter is often treated as a misdemeanor. If the amount exceeds $3,000 the amount economically is now treated as a felony.

Are All Felony Offenses All More Violent Than Misdemeanors?

Not necessarily. Some felony offenses obviously are much more violent than misdemeanors, however there are many felony offenses that do not involve assault. Some of which we’ve already touched on and those offenses would not be more violent than misdemeanors.

For instance, check fraud a felony offense over $3,000, car theft, theft by deception over a certain amount, fleeing police, drug sales not involving a weapon, are all felony offenses. Additionally criminal trespass and defiant trespass are all offenses that are non-violent, but are also treated as felonies.

How Are Misdemeanors Classified, is There a System?

​Misdemeanors are classified by crimes with a maximum sentence of under five years.

​The penalties that can follow a misdemeanor are a fine, community service, no further penalty, probation or a jail time sentence.

How Do They Classify Felonies Under Pennsylvania Law?

​Felonies are classified as offenses that can carry up to life imprison and even death. Some of these obviously are taken much more seriously because of the harm and stakes to an individual both physically or economically can be much higher.