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Felony vs. Crime: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 23, 2023
A felony is a serious crime typically punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, whereas a crime is any illegal act that can be a misdemeanor or a felony.

Key Differences

A felony is considered a high-level offense, often involving significant harm or threat to persons or property. Crime, in its broader definition, encompasses both felonies and less severe offenses known as misdemeanors.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023
Felonies typically carry severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, whereas crimes, depending on their severity, may result in lighter sentences, fines, or community service.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023
Examples of felonies include murder, rape, and armed robbery, all of which are treated as serious legal violations. Crimes, on the other hand, can range from minor traffic violations to these serious felonies.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023
The classification of an illegal act as a felony typically implies a more rigorous legal process, including the possibility of a trial by jury. In contrast, crimes, especially lesser ones like misdemeanors, might be resolved with simpler legal procedures.
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023
In the legal system, felonies often result in a loss of certain civil rights, such as voting or possessing firearms. However, not all crimes lead to such consequences, especially if they are misdemeanors or minor infractions.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Severity

High-level offense
Can range from minor to major offenses
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Examples

Murder, rape, armed robbery
Traffic violations, theft, murder
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Legal Penalties

Long-term imprisonment, possibly life sentence
Varies from fines to imprisonment
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Legal Process

Often involves trial by jury
Varies, simpler procedures for minor offenses
Janet White
Dec 23, 2023

Impact on Civil Rights

May result in loss of certain rights
Not all crimes lead to loss of civil rights
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023
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Felony and Crime Definitions

Felony

A felony is a serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
Armed robbery is classified as a felony due to its violent nature.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 09, 2023

Crime

A crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority.
Tax evasion is a crime involving the deliberate avoidance of paying taxes.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 09, 2023

Felony

A felony is a grave offense against public law.
Being convicted of a felony like embezzlement can result in a lengthy jail sentence.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 09, 2023

Crime

A crime is an action or omission that constitutes an offense and may be prosecuted by the state.
Driving under the influence is a dangerous crime with serious consequences.
Harlon Moss
Dec 09, 2023

Felony

Felony refers to major crimes considered more severe than misdemeanors.
Committing a felony like arson can lead to significant legal consequences.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 09, 2023

Crime

Crime encompasses a wide range of illegal behaviors, from minor to serious offenses.
Vandalism is a crime that damages public or private property.
Janet White
Dec 09, 2023

Felony

Felony encompasses serious criminal offenses that are punishable by severe penalties.
Drug trafficking is often prosecuted as a felony.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 09, 2023

Crime

A crime is any act that violates a law and is punishable by the state or other authority.
Shoplifting is considered a crime and can lead to arrest and prosecution.
Huma Saeed
Dec 09, 2023

Felony

A felony is a high-level criminal act that carries major legal ramifications.
In many regions, manslaughter is treated as a felony.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 09, 2023

Crime

Crime refers to illegal activities or actions that go against legal codes.
Cybercrime has become increasingly prevalent in the digital age.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 09, 2023

Felony

One of several serious crimes, such as murder, rape, or robbery, punishable by a more stringent sentence than that given for a misdemeanor.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

An act committed in violation of law where the consequence of conviction by a court is punishment, especially where the punishment is a serious one such as imprisonment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Felony

Any of several crimes in early English law that were punishable by forfeiture of land or goods and by capital or other serious punishment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

Unlawful activity
Statistics relating to violent crime.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Felony

A serious criminal offense, which, under United States federal law, is punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or by death.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

A serious offense, especially one in violation of morality.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Felony

An act on the part of the vassal which cost him his fee by forfeiture.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

An unjust, senseless, or disgraceful act or condition
It's a crime to waste all that paper.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Felony

An offense which occasions a total forfeiture either lands or goods, or both, at the common law, and to which capital or other punishment may be added, according to the degree of guilt.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(countable) A specific act committed in violation of the law.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Felony

A serious crime (such as murder or arson)
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(countable) Any great sin or wickedness; iniquity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

That which occasions crime.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(uncountable) Criminal acts collectively.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(uncountable) The habit or practice of committing crimes.
Crime doesn’t pay.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

To subject to disciplinary punishment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(nonce word) To commit crime.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

Any violation of law, either divine or human; an omission of a duty commanded, or the commission of an act forbidden by law.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

Gross violation of human law, in distinction from a misdemeanor or trespass, or other slight offense. Hence, also, any aggravated offense against morality or the public welfare; any outrage or great wrong.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

Any great wickedness or sin; iniquity.
No crime was thine, if 'tis no crime to love.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

That which occasion crime.
The tree of life, the crime of our first father's fall.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

(criminal law) an act punishable by law; usually considered an evil act;
A long record of crimes
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

Crime

An evil act not necessarily punishable by law;
Crimes of the heart
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

Can felonies be expunged from a record?

Depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances, some felonies may be expunged.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

What's a common example of a minor crime?

A common minor crime is a traffic violation, like speeding.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Can a crime be non-criminal?

No, by definition, a crime is always a violation of law and thus criminal.
Huma Saeed
Dec 23, 2023

What impact does a crime have on society?

Crimes can impact society by harming individuals, damaging property, and undermining trust.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Are all felonies violent?

Not all felonies are violent; some, like embezzlement, are non-violent but still serious.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

What rights are lost with a felony conviction?

Felony convictions can lead to the loss of rights like voting or owning firearms.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

How do countries differ in defining a felony?

Different countries have varying definitions and classifications for what constitutes a felony.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Is theft always a felony?

Theft can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the stolen property.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

How is felony sentencing determined?

Felony sentencing is influenced by the crime's severity, the defendant's history, and legal guidelines.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

What are white-collar crimes?

White-collar crimes are financially motivated, non-violent crimes, often committed in business contexts.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

What makes a crime a felony?

A crime is classified as a felony if it is a serious offense with significant legal penalties.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Is shoplifting a felony or a crime?

Shoplifting is a crime and can be a felony if the value stolen is above a certain threshold.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Can a felony charge be reduced?

In some cases, a felony charge can be reduced, often through plea bargaining or demonstrating mitigating circumstances.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

What role does intent play in defining a crime?

Intent can be a key factor in defining and prosecuting crimes, particularly in differentiating between types of offenses.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

Can one be imprisoned for minor crimes?

Imprisonment for minor crimes is possible, especially if repeated or with aggravating factors.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Are all illegal acts considered crimes?

Most illegal acts are considered crimes, but some may be classified as infractions or violations.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Can juveniles be charged with felonies?

Yes, juveniles can be charged with felonies, but the legal process and sentencing may differ.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023

Can a crime be unintentional?

Some crimes, like negligence, can be unintentional but still punishable.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 23, 2023

Are drug offenses always felonies?

Drug offenses vary and can be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on factors like the drug type and amount.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 23, 2023

How do misdemeanors differ from felonies?

Misdemeanors are less severe crimes compared to felonies and usually carry lighter penalties.
Harlon Moss
Dec 23, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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