The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the grade of the offense or the seriousness of the offense. In New York State, if you’re charged with a felony, that’s the most serious offense. Most felonies start from an E-grade felony all the way up to an A-1 felony. They are all very serious.
There’s mandatory state prison. Regarding the less serious felonies, the sentencing judge can provide you with a sentence of non-state prison or a five-year term of probation. The main difficulty, irrespective of the prison sentence, is the fact that you’ll have a felony conviction for the rest of your life. It affects your ability to vote. Many of your civil rights are changed and impaired as a result of the felony conviction. Most importantly, it will impact your ability to work.
If you’re convicted of a felony, we can petition the sentencing judge to have an application for relief from civil disabilities and give you some of your civil rights back. However, the criminal record stays and it will stay with you the rest of your life.
A misdemeanor grade offense is less serious. It’s still a crime. It’s still a reportable event that will impact job applications, state licenses.
Kevin T. Conway is an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Rockland County. Our firm handles a variety of criminal matters, including DWI, drug crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, juvenile matters, and more. If you need our services, contact our Spring Valley firm today.