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The Different Felony Categories in New York

Having a criminal conviction on your permanent record can be damaging in many ways. A felony conviction is even worse. A crime is considered a felony when the potential sentence includes a prison term of a year or more. According to penal law in the State of New York, there are five different felony classes and two subcategories. Each of those categories are then further divided into violent and non-violent crimes.

Class "A-1" and "A-2" felonies are the most severe crimes and include crimes such as murder, terrorism, and kidnapping in the first degree. These felonies carry potential sentence from twenty-five years to life in prison.

Class "B", "C", "D", and "E" felonies are divided into violent and non-violent crimes. The crimes are further divided by the different degrees. The degree and level determine the felony class. An example of how this operates is found in the crime of Aggravated Sexual Abuse.  Aggravated sexual abuse has four degrees ranging from the first degree being a Class "B" felony to the fourth degree being a Class "E" felony.  Class "B" felonies carry a potential punishment that varies from non-violent offenses which start at one year to violent crimes that can carry up to twenty five years. Class "C" felonies vary from non-violent offenses carrying a sentence of no jail time with probation up to a maximum of fifteen years imprisonment for violent offenses. Class "D" felonies have a maximum sentence of seven years and class "E" felonies include a maximum sentence of four years. All felonies are subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or double the gain of the alleged offense.

The Court could also use indeterminate sentence, meaning a maximum and a minimum term will be imposed for the offense. When the minimum term is completed the offender is eligible to file for parole. Parole is determined by the Parole Board not the Court of record. If the sentence is a determinate sentence, the court shall impose an exact term of imprisonment. The sentence may also include a term of post release supervision.

A felony conviction can result in serious consequences for your future. If you have been accused of a felony you need to consult with an experienced New York criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss the ramifications of a conviction and proper representation throughout the prosecution of your case.

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