A class D felony is the least serious grouping of felonies. Class D felonies are generally not associated with being violent or dangerous. In fact, many Class D felonies are victimless crimes.
However, because a Class D felony is still a felony, it is associated with all of the penalties of a felony, including long jail sentences, extremely strict probation conditions, and fines.
In most cases, a Class D felony conviction will permanently remain on your record. Thus, you will continue to feel the effects of the conviction long after you have finished serving your sentence. A felony conviction can preclude you from getting visitation rights to your children, a job, an apartment, or even student loans for college.
In an attempt to create a uniform and organized system of grouping felonies for purposes of sentencing, state legislatures in many states have sorted felonies into alphabetical classes – Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D. Class A felonies are the most violent and serious felonies, such as first degree murder or rape. Class D felonies, on the other hand, are the least severe and very mild when compared to Class A felonies.
Not every state that follows the alphabetical classification system has Class D felonies. Many states only categorize felonies into three classes. In addition, what may be a Class C felony in one state may be a Class D felony in another.
By grouping the felonies into different classes, the legislature can simplify the sentencing process. Each class is given its own sentencing guidelines. For instance, Class A felonies may carry sentences of 25 years to life in prison. Note that the exact penalties will differ between states.
While a Class D felony might not be the most serious felony, it is still capable of disrupting your freedom and your future. You may have legal options, such as pleading guilty, entering into diversion, or pursuing a trial. A competent criminal defense lawyer with felony experience can counsel you on the various alternatives and work alongside you to advocate for your interests in court.
Last Modified: 05-11-2018 12:15 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.