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.
What Is the Typical Sentence for a Class B Felony?
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.
Does a Class B Felony Have a Minimum Sentence?
No, unless the jurisdiction in which the felony charges are filed has mandatory minimum sentencing.
Can I Receive a Harsh Sentence for a Class B Felony?
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.
What Is an Extenuating Circumstance?
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
Should I Talk to an Attorney about a Class B Felony?
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.