Misdemeanor & Felony – What’s the Difference?

Being accused of a crime can be a stressful time for you and your family. As an experienced attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we help our clients through the legal process they are about to encounter. Most people have heard the terms “misdemeanor” and “felony” before, but many don’t know exactly what the terms are. O’Donnell Law Center has dedicated this week’s blog to just that – sharing the differences between a misdemeanor and felony charge.


What is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a crime that is a minor offense. This type of crime is usually punishable by fines, a year or less in jail, community service, probation, or any combination of the four possibilities. It’s viewed as a lesser offense than a felony. Examples of offenses that qualify as a misdemeanor are:
Shoplifting
Possession of marijuana under 35 grams
Driving Under the Influence, first offense
Driving without a driver’s license, first offense
Violating a restraining order


What is a Felony?

A felony is more serious than a misdemeanor and is punishable by incarceration of more than one year, all the way up to the ultimate punishment in the state of Missouri, capital punishment. Examples of felony offenses are:

  • Murder
  • First degree Assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Possession of a controlled substance other than 35 grams of marijuana

Now that you’re more familiar with the two terms, you will know what others are referencing when speaking about various crimes. Whether it’s on TV or you’re facing a charge yourself, it’s best to know the difference between the two types of crimes and their potential punishments. As a criminal defense attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks, we appreciate the opportunity to help keep others


We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

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Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

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