In criminal law, a felony is a serious offense that is punishable by at least one year in prison. Misdemeanor crimes are also serious, but felonies generally carry more severe penalties, including prison time, fines, and other measures. To get a better idea of how much jail time different crimes carry, take a look at this informative overview of common felony charges.
Driving Under the Influence
DUIs may be common occurrences, but driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious criminal charge that can easily translate into jail time. The legal blood alcohol limit is currently .08 in all 50 states. Drivers who exceed the limit are charged with DUI and can face steep fines, mandatory license revocation, and even jail time.
Possession of illegal drugs other than marijuana is a felony offense. If an individual is charged with possession of a large amount of marijuana, he or she may also be faced with a felony. Drug crimes can include drug possession, drug possession with intent to sell, and trafficking. Jail time may increase if the felony offense was committed near a school, with a firearm, or if the individual has prior felony convictions.
Depending on intent, taking the life of another person may be charged as murder or manslaughter. Within each category, there are degrees indicating the level of premeditation or negligence. A conviction for murder may result in a lifetime jail sentence or even death, while manslaughter carries lighter jail time depending on state law.
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