Which is Worse a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

Felony misdemeanor charges stay on your criminal record for life.

No one wants to face a criminal charge. When it comes to convictions, many people will be faced with a felony or a misdemeanor charge, depending on the severity of the crime. If you or a loved one is dealing with any misdemeanor felony cases, it’s important to take the correct steps. Contacting a bail bondsman is critical to making sure you or your loved one is out and able to access the correct resources for defense. In the Clearwater, FL, the only bail bondsman you want to call is James Brennan Bail Bonds.

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor has to do with the length of time served and the fee due.

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

You may be wondering what the difference is between a felony and a misdemeanor. We hear them so often on the news and in cop shows, but rarely does anyone actually know what they mean. Or, more importantly, what the punishment is in regards to a felony or a misdemeanor.

In the state of Florida, felonies and misdemeanors are broken down into classifications to better help understand what the punishment should be. Generally speaking, the punishment for either a felony or a misdemeanor will result in time served as well a penalty fee due. The length of time and the amount due are what set these two apart.

What is a misdemeanor?

  • Generally a crime punishable by a year or less in a county jail as well as a fine of up to $1,000.

What is a felony?

  • A crime punishable by time served, between 5-30 years, in a state prison as well as fines of no more than $10,000
    • Third degree felony: 5 years in prison with a $5,000 fine
    • Second degree felony: up to 15 years in prison with a fine no more than $10,000
    • First degree felony: up to 30 years in prison with a fine up to $10,000

Not all misdemeanor or felony convictions will result in jail time, but felonies respectively carry the potential long imprisonment. Because of how imperative it is you know what you are facing, James Brennan Bail Bonds can help you get back on your feet to better the case for yourself.

Misdemeanor and Felony Examples

Misdemeanor examples:

  • Battery or assault
  • Theft
  • Possession of a controlled substance
  • Prostitution

Felony examples:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Theft of property
  • Sale of a controlled substance
  • Transmission of pornography
A person's criminal history can determine whether a felony charge is dropped to a misdemeanor.

What is a wobbler?

You may be looking at these lists of examples and thinking to yourself, “Some of those seem really similar to one another.” And you are correct. In the criminal court, there are felony misdemeanors known as wobblers. Wobblers are convictions that toe the line between felony and misdemeanor charges. That means that a misdemeanor/felony (wobbler) is punishable by time served in a county jail or state prison as well as a payable fine due. Now, this does suggest that felonies can be dropped to misdemeanor charges, which is true. Based on a person’s criminal history, if a judge believes the punishment for a felony charge does not match the crime committed, felony charges have been lowered to misdemeanor charges.

That being said, so can a misdemeanor turn into a felony. Again, based on someone’s criminal history, if there is repetitive criminal misconduct, a judge can decide to escalate the punishment as well as the charge. No matter which direction a charge sways, it does not change the fact that misdemeanor and felony charges stay on your criminal record permenantly.

How We Work

Dealing with any conviction is scary and stressful. James Brennan Bail Bonds wants to help alleviate as much of that stress as possible. Many find that during the conviction process, the numbers can really add up. Between bail, fees and fines, it can seem impossible to find the money to take care of it all. If you or a family member has been jailed with a bail set, contact James Brennan Bail Bonds as soon as possible.

All we ask is that you pay 10% of the cost of bail. In doing so, we can help you get back to your family and the resources to better defend yourself in court.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many misdemeanors make a felony?

Typically, misdemeanor charges and felony charges are processed separately, however, based on a person’s criminal history misdemeanors can escalate to felonies.

Can felony charges be dropped to misdemeanors?

It all depends on the person’s previous criminal history. While it has been known to happen, this is not something to depend on as the final ruling can be at the discretion of the judge.

Does a misdemeanor mean jail time?

A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

What are the differences between misdemeanors and felonies?

The major differences come down to the length of time served and the penalty fee due.

Can charges be dropped after sentencing?

The short answer, no. Once a conviction has been issued and a plea determined, only a DA can drop the charges before or at a hearing. But nothing can be done after a sentencing has been ruled on.

Call James Brennan Bail Bonds at 727-531-5000 for any questions about felony charges in the Clearwater, FL. We have been serving our community for over 20 years, so we are the go-to people you want in your corner.