All criminal charges are serious and can result in serious potential penalties and consequences. That said, felony charges can result in more serious potential penalties and consequences which is why it is helpful to understand the difference between a felony charge and a misdemeanor charge.
In most states, crimes are divided into categories depending on their seriousness. How the charges against the accused individual will be treated, and what potential penalties and consequences they may face, depend on how they are charged so it is helpful to understand the different types of charges and what they mean. A misdemeanor charge is considered more serious than an infraction and can be punished by up to a year in jail.
Alternately, a felony charge is generally distinguished as being punishable by a year or greater in prison. Felonies can also be punished in a range of ways and may also be punished by fines or may carry other potential penalties and consequences. Felonies are generally the crimes that society views as more serious including murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping and arson charges. No matter what type of criminal charges the accused individual is facing, it is important for them to be familiar with their right to present a criminal defense and also with their criminal defense rights.
Accused individuals have the right to due process but also have other rights and authorities are expected to follow certain procedures to protect those rights and ensure they are safeguarded. When the accused individual's rights have been violated, or the police or witnesses have the facts wrong, it is essential for accused individuals to know how to formulate a strong criminal defense to the charges they are facing based on their situation.