Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offenses; they are crimes punishable by more than a year of jail-time or by death. A crime may not be specifically labeled a felony, but the length of the sentence will revealed that it is. Some states will refer to a misdemeanor as “gross” or “aggravated” and the sentence will be for longer than a year, making the crime very similar to a felony. Examples of traffic offenses that are generally considered felonies include:
- Repeat DUI/DWI offenses
- Some types of hit and run offenses
- Vehicular homicide
The consequences of being convicted of a felony are quite harsh; the sentences are longer and the prisons less tolerable. Often, the offender will lose his/her right to vote, serve on a jury, or practice professions such as law and teaching. Felons cannot own guns or serve in the military. Furthermore, many states have a provision that persons convicted of three felonies may be sentences to life in prison.