A Class B felony is a classification reserved for very serious crimes, although these crimes are not as serious as Class A felonies. Class B felonies typically include crimes against a person or possession of illegal items, such as:
- First degree reckless homicide
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Kidnapping in the second degree
- Assault and battery
- Second degree arson
- Human trafficking
- Teaching others to cheat at gambling
- Gambling fraud
- Aggravated stalking
- Attempt to commit a crime in the Class A felony such as murder
- Cocaine or heroin possession
Each jurisdiction includes different very serious offenses in this classification. Thus, what is considered a Class B felony in one state may be a Class A or C felony in another state.
The actual sentence a defendant faces for a Class B felony depends on the jurisdiction where they committed the crime. In many jurisdictions, the minimum sentence a defendant will serve for a Class B felony is one year in prison. They may face an additional fine or prison time depending on the charge and facts of the case. For example, in federal court, a defendant may face at least 25 years in prison. The state of Washington has a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for Class B felonies. However, a defendant facing this type of felony in Wisconsin may be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison.
No, unless the jurisdiction in which the felony charges are filed has mandatory minimum sentencing.
It is usually up to the judge’s discretion whether to give a defendant a harsh sentence. If there are extenuating circumstances, the judge may sentence a defendant to a harsher sentence that they would normally receive.
An extenuating, or aggravating, circumstance is a circumstance that makes the crime worse than if it had not been present. Examples of an extenuating circumstance include:
- Use of a deadly weapon
- Hate crime
- Prior convictions
- Sexual offenses involving a minor
A Class B felony is a serious crime, and a conviction for it can be a lengthy prison sentence. Thus, it is in your best interest to contact a criminal attorney if you are facing a Class B felony charge.