Felony fights are cases of assault/battery that result in felony charges. Most cases of simple assault or simple battery end up in a misdemeanor conviction. However, some more serious scenarios can result in serious bodily injury to one of the parties, and may lead to a felony charge. An example of this is where a fight escalates to the point where a weapon is used, or where one person is seriously injured.
Misdemeanor charges usually result in jail time of less than one year, along with some criminal fines. Felony charges are more serious and may result in prison sentences of longer than one year, and greater criminal fines.
As mentioned, assault and battery are usually classified as misdemeanors. However, they can sometimes be escalated to a felony offense if certain aggravating factors are present. This would convert the crime into "aggravated battery," which is sometimes prosecuted as a felony. Aggravating factors include:
- The use of a deadly weapon
- Assault or battery on a police officer, woman, or child
- Assault or battery resulting in serious bodily harm or great bodily injury
- Battery with the intent to commit another crime such as mayhem
- A disproportionate use of force in relation to the other person’s force (for instance, using a deadly weapon to counter a person’s fist strike)
Thus, felony fights may result if any of the factors listed above are present. Also, repeat offenses can lead to serious penalties that are similar to those of felony charges.
As mentioned, the typical consequences for felonies include prison time of at least one year, and criminal fines. Some other consequences for felonies may include a loss/suspension of driving privileges, loss of the right to vote, and a prohibition on owning a firearm. Having felony charges can often make it more difficult to qualify for certain applications, although the charges can sometimes be removed from one’s record after some time.
The laws governing felonies and misdemeanors are different in every state. You may need to hire a criminal lawyer if you need assistance in dealing with the criminal statutes in your area. A qualified lawyer can provide you with legal representation and can advise you on your legal rights. Also, your attorney can inform you if any criminal defenses may be applicable to your case.