Felony vs Misdemeanor

felony_misdemeanor

Types of Criminal Cases

What Kind of Crime I’ve Been Charged With?

Look at the formal charging document, called the “Complaint,” which will list out all of the crimes you are charged with. Each crime charged is a “Count” that is numbered starting with “1” and continuing on. The category of crime (felony/misdemeanor/infraction), and the level and type of crime, should be stated within each count.

You may not have a “Complaint” if you only have a traffic ticket. In this case, you likely have been charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor.

Kansas Has Four Types of Criminal Cases:
  • Traffic infractions
  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies
  • Off-Grids
Potential Criminal Case Outcomes
Traffic infractions

Infractions, like speeding or not wearing your seatbelt, do not carry jail time, but they can carry serious fines as well as restrictions on your driver’s license. The more traffic infractions you have on your record, the more your penalties can increase.

Misdemeanors
  • Misdemeanors carry jail time as well as possible fines. Both Kansas and Missouri classify misdemeanors in one of three classes: “A,” “B,” and “C.”
  • Although there are specific sentencing guidelines for each class of misdemeanor, certain misdemeanor crimes, such as DUIs have special sentencing guidelines and requirements.
  • A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious. It carries a potential sentence of up to 12 months in the county jail as well as the possibility of up to $2,500 (Kansas) or $2,000 (Missouri) in fines.
  • A Class B misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to 6 months in the county jail as well as the possibility of up to $1,000 (Kansas and Missouri) in fines.
  • A Class C misdemeanor in Kansas carries a potential sentence of up to 1 month in the county jail as well as the possibilities of up to $500 in fines. In Missouri, a Class C misdemeanor carries a potential sentence of up to 15 days and a fine of up to $750.
Kansas Felonies

Most felonies in Kansas are classified on one of two sentencing grids: a sentencing grid and a drug sentencing grid. The grid combines your criminal history and the level of your offense.

  • Your criminal history score will range somewhere on the alphabet from an “A” (three or more violent felonies), to an “I” (little to no criminal history).
  • The level of your offense will range from a 1(the most serious) to 10. For example, intentional second-degree murder is a level 1 felony, while failing to pay child support is a level 10 felony.
  • Kansas drug felonies are classified on a scale of 1(the most serious) to 5. For example, simple possession of methamphetamine is a level 5, while distributing or manufacturing high quantities of illegal drugs would be level 1.

Having a felony conviction on your record can result in long-term consequences such as not being eligible for government-assistance programs, or not being eligible for certain jobs. It’s important to talk with an attorney about your options and the impact a conviction could have on your life, before you proceed with your case. An attorney will help make sure that the prosecutors have not over-charged you or improperly scored your criminal history.

Missouri Felonies
  • Missouri felonies range are classified in one of five categories, ranging from class A felonies (most serious) to Class E felonies. For example, first-degree murder is a class A felony.
  • A class A felony carries a prison sentence of 10 years to life, and a class E felony carries a prison sentence of up to 4 years.
Kansas Off-Grids and Non-Grids

Off-grid and non-grid crimes are felonies that do not follow the standard sentencing guidelines.

  • Off-grid crimes include the most serious felonies such as capital murder, treason, and sex-crimes involving children. These off-grid crimes carry life-imprisonment sentences.
  • Non-grid crimes include driving under the influence, or felony domestic battery. These non-grid crimes have their own special sentencing rules.
Exceptions to Sentencing Guidelines
  • Almost each category of crime has certain exceptions and special circumstances that can increase or decrease the standard sentence. For example, a felony prison sentence could be reduced at sentencing if the Judge finds that certain mitigating circumstances exist. Mark Grover has successfully reduced the sentence of multiple clients by persuasively presenting mitigating circumstances to the prosecutor and the Judge.
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