Hi. I’m Russell Hebets with the law firm of Hebets and McCallin. Most states separate criminal offenses into at least two different categories. Those categories are misdemeanor and felony. Understanding the difference between those two categories is very important for anyone who’s involved in the criminal justice system.

Misdemeanors in general are less serious charges. Those are things like minor thefts, maybe a very minor assault, certain traffic offenses like DUIs. Those are all examples of what we would categorize as misdemeanors. Now, with misdemeanors, you still get the right to a jury trial, but that jury is going to generally be smaller than for a felony case. Also, your penalties are less. Most of the time, unless it’s an aggravated case, you’re looking at potentially up to one year in county jail. That is juxtaposed to felonies.

Felonies are more serious. These are things like murder, vehicular assault, serious crimes. For those cases, you also have the right to a jury, but you generally get a jury of twelve rather than a jury of six. You also are exposed to years, potentially, in prison, up to life sentences. Now, you would be going to prison, for a felony, rather than county jail for a misdemeanor. There are a whole lot of differences between prison and county jail that we’re going to cover in a future video.

As always, if anyone has any questions, or you need help with a criminal case, give us a call. You can reach us at 303-756-3231, or online at Thanks as always, and have a great day!