What Is a Class 4 Felony?

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What Is a Class 4 Felony?

A Class 4 felony is a relatively minor felony. Most states categorize felonies by different classes. A Class 1 felony is the most serious and severe type of felony. Class 1 felonies carry steep penalties, such as lengthy jail terms and exorbitant fines. A Class 4 felony is the lowest ranked felony group. While a Class 4 felony is a serious offense, it is not as serious as a Class 1 or 2 felony.

Not every state has Class 4 felonies. Some states, like California, organize offenses by type of crime. Other states categorize crimes using an alphabetical system like A, B, or C.

In states that numerically categorize felonies, the state criminal code will describe exactly which crimes fit into each category. All crimes for each category have the same minimum and maximum potential sentences.

For example, all Class 4 felonies may face a maximum of ten years incarceration and a minimum of 2 years incarceration, along with a potential maximum $10,000 fine. Remember that the exact penalties will differ between states.

Examples of Class 4 Felonies

Difference between Felonies and Misdemeanors

While felonies may be categorized based on severity, they remain separate from misdemeanors. A Class 4 felony will always carry a harsher maximum sentence than a misdemeanor. Felony is a term used to describe a serious or severe offense. The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor lies in the maximum potential sentence. Usually, a misdemeanor label is reserved for offenses that face less than 1 year in prison.

Some aggravated circumstances may bump a misdemeanor to a Class 4 felony. For instance, simple assault is typically a misdemeanor. However, the assault becomes a Class 4 felony when the defendant inflicts serious bodily harm on the victim.

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Class 4 Felony?

Most states mandate that an individual convicted of a Class 4 felony must serve a minimum jail sentence, which is often greater than 1 year. In addition, a jail sentence may keep you from your loved ones or responsibilities. If you have been charged with a Class 4 felony, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to seek guidance on how to fight the criminal charge.

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Last Modified: 08-06-2015 10:55 AM PDT

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