Misdemeanor vs. Felony in Massachusetts

If you’re charged with a crime, the first thing that you need to figure out is whether you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges. Not only will the difference in charges likely affect your defense strategy, but also the range of potential penalties that you face should you be convicted of the crime, too. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced criminal lawyer in Massachusetts provides representation for clients facing both misdemeanor and felony charges. To learn more about the differences between the two crime types, please call our law office directly today.

Defining a Felony vs. Misdemeanor Crime in Massachusetts

As found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 274, Section 1, “a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison is a felony. All other crimes are misdemeanors.”

In other words, a misdemeanor is a type of crime that is typically punished with fines and fees, but not prison time. In some cases, some jail time may accompany a misdemeanor conviction, but this is less common. Examples of misdemeanor offenses in the state include things such as a first-time DUI/OUI offense, drug possession, shoplifting, and a restraining order violation. 

On the other hand, felonies are much more serious than are misdemeanor offenses. (Although, this does not mean that you don’t still need to retain legal counsel if you’re facing a misdemeanor offense.) Examples of felony offenses include violent crimes, such as sexual assault, rape, and murder, as well as drug crimes, such as trafficking of controlled substances.  

Defending Yourself Against Felony vs. Misdemeanor Charges

If you are charged with a crime in Massachusetts, one of the first things that you should do is contact an experienced attorney who has handled cases like yours in the past. Your attorney can work with you to develop a strategy that is based on the charges you’re facing, the evidence against you, and the potential penalties that may result if you’re convicted. 

While felony crimes are more serious in Massachusetts, one major error that a person facing a misdemeanor charge can make is failing to hire legal counsel because they think their charges aren’t severe enough to warrant legal representation. Prison time or not, a mark on your criminal record will likely have an effect on your future. 

Call The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski Today 

At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our experienced criminal lawyer in Massachusetts has represented clients facing both misdemeanor and felony charges over the years, and is well-versed in the details of our state’s criminal statutes, the possible penalties you may face, and how to build a strong defense. When you call our law firm, Attorney Paul R. Moraski will provide you personalized, dedicated, and aggressive legal services. 

When you’re facing criminal charges, there’s a lot on the line. To learn more about how our law firm can help you, please call us directly at (978) 397-0011 or send us a message telling us more about your case.