What’s the Difference Between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?

felony misdemeanor arrest

Understanding a Felony and a Misdemeanor

It can feel like there is nothing you can do when a loved one is arrested and charged with a crime. The reality is, there is something you can do. When someone is arrested and detained for a crime, it can affect everything from their immediate life to their future. They aren’t able to get to work, to provide for their families or they are convicted of a crime and unable to find a job later. To avoid this, the best thing you can do for someone is to help bail them out of jail. Bail is needed when someone is charged with a felony misdemeanor in Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more, contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds at (412) 368-5188 today. 

felony misdemeanor

What does Felony Misdemeanor Mean?

A felony misdemeanor is actually a misnomer. In our criminal system, there are criminal offenses known as felony and misdemeanor. They are two separate categories to punish differing crimes that may be committed. That means that someone can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor, but rarely can they be charged with both. For that to happen, they would have to commit multiple, serious crimes. 

Both felonies and misdemeanors have several categories. Meaning, you could be charged with a class one misdemeanor or a class three felony. They break down as such:


  • First Degree Felony: these are serious crimes that carry up to 20-years in prison and fines up to $25,000. 
  • Second Degree Felony: just as serious crimes that can carry 10-year prison sentences with fines totaling no more than $25,000.
  • Third Degree Felony: crimes that can see up to 7-years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. 


  • First Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that can see up to 5-years in jail with fines up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that can carry up to 2-years in jail and fines totaling no more than $5,000. 
  • Third Degree Misdemeanor: crimes that may see up to 1-year in jail with fines totaling $2,500. 

It’s important to note that with a felony charge, you could be sent to state prison. With a misdemeanor charge, you will be held in the county jail. More than that, some crimes carry mandatory minimum sentencing. This means you’ll be automatically charged with something like a DUI charge or weapons charge, meaning you’ll need weapons violation bail in Pittsburgh, PA. Understanding what can happen to you will help you understand what you need to do going forward.

Felony vs Misdemeanor

The felony and misdemeanor difference comes down to the punishment for the crime. Generally speaking, felonies are considered more heinous or more offensive crimes, therefore, harsher punishments are handed down. Once you know the breakdown of how these crimes are viewed in the system, it’s important to know what is classified within each category. Here are a few felony and misdemeanor examples. 

Felony Examples

  • Manslaughter
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Theft
  • Burglary 
  • DUI with Vehicular Homicide
  • Drug Possession with the Intent to Deliver/Sell
  • Vandalism/Criminal Mischief
  • Arson

Misdemeanor Examples

  • DUI
  • Drug Possession
  • Reckless Driving
  • Simple Assault
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Trespassing

You may notice that there are a few that overlap the felony and misdemeanor sections. That’s because, ultimately, a theft or burglary charge can be determined to be either or based on several things. The judges discretion, your criminal background, and more. It’s because of situations like is that it’s so important to make bail as soon as you can. By making bail, which can often cost about the same as blind cleaning in Blue Bell, PA, will help you in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many misdemeanors is a felony? 
    • There is no specific or exact answer because, ultimately, misdemeanor charges do not turn over into felony charges. If and when that happens, it is because a judge or jury determines your actions to be worth a felony charge. It has nothing to do with how many misdemeanors you are charged with.  
  • Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor?
    • Yes, you can. Jail time for a misdemeanor will be dependent on the crime committed. The most common misdemeanor, traffic violations, are usually only punished by a fine, but more serious actions could experience up to 1 year in jail as well. 
  • How serious is a misdemeanor on your record?
    • Though a misdemeanor is considered a “minor-wrongdoing” it is still a crime. Crimes are serious offenses that, if not taken seriously, can affect your future. Even misdemeanors can affect your job applications, ability to work, and more. 
  • Is a felony worse than a misdemeanor?
    • By definition, misdemeanors are considered offenses lower than a felony. Misdemeanors are often punishable by fines and possible jail time. That in mind, misdemeanors can still have an impact just as negative as a felony charge or conviction. 
  • Is a misdemeanor considered a criminal offense?
    • Yes, misdemeanors are criminal offenses. However, they are often determined to be less offensive in nature than felonies, but that does not make them any less serious. A misdemeanor can remain on your record as a criminal charge or conviction. 
felony misdemeanor charge

Call Us Today to Learn More

When you or a loved one needs help with a felony misdemeanor in Pittsburgh, PA, rely on Freedom Fast Bail Bonds. We are not here to judge you, simply help you in a time when you may need it most. Dial (412) 368-5188 to talk to someone today.

How Do You Find A Lawyer?

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Get Legal Help Today

There are times in your life where you may need a lawyer. Perhaps you need to fight a ticket or need assistance with Bail bonds. If you don’t have one or have never used one in the past, it is important to know how to find a lawyer that you can trust and will offer you the best service for the price. Here’s a look at how to find a lawyer suited to your needs, so you’ll know where to look when you require a lawyer near me.

What happens if you can’t afford a lawyer?

The Constitution offers certain guarantees for all citizens. One of these is the right to an attorney. For those that can’t afford one, you can get a lawyer for free. Most of the time, this is a public defender or a lawyer that is paid using public funds, which are available in most areas. If they don’t have any in the area, the court will help you make arrangements to find a lawyer who provides free legal services.

Can I get a lawyer for free?

Again, anyone charged with imprisonment is entitled to a lawyer if you don’t have enough money to pay for one. If this is the case, you’ll want to find a public defender or someone who does pro bono work to help you further. Pro bono indicates that a lawyer provides services for free, which most do from time to time.

Who is eligible for free legal aid?

Almost anyone can be eligible for legal aid, but this is especially true if you have difficulty paying for legal services. There is likely a service or organization that offers free legal aid or information in your area, you just have to look around. A quick internet search can give you this type of information, and should also provide details on how to contact them.

How can I get free legal advice?

Getting free legal advice is just as simple as searching for free legal aid. These organizations are often available to offer free legal advice as well. If you can’t find one in your city, some lawyers are also available to answer questions on legal forums and websites, where pretty much anyone can post inquiries to be answered by a professional.

Can I fire my lawyer?

If you are using a lawyer’s services, it is inevitable that in some instances, you won’t agree with the way they are operating, or you will simply need to fire them. To do so, you need to write them a formal letter saying that you no longer need their services and mail it to them. The letter should explain what your issues with them are and where you want them to send your files. It is imperative you find a lawyer to replace them beforehand though if you are still in the midst of a court battle or issue. You must stay protected.

Lawyer Working With Legal Document

Steps to Find a Lawyer

The process to find a lawyer or paralegal isn’t hard, but it may be time-consuming. After all, you must find someone that you can trust and will treat you with the respect you deserve. Here is a look at the steps.

  • Meet with lawyers in your area. Meet with a few lawyers in your area that specialize in the issues that you need assistance with. Be sure that you write down a list of questions you would like answered beforehand and ask them. In many cases, this initial contact is free, so meeting a lawyer for consultation shouldn’t incur out of pocket costs.
  • Do background research on the ones you like. Once you figure out which lawyers you like the best out of the ones you interviewed, it is important to do some internet research to see what shows up in searches. You may see things you like, but you may also see things you don’t like. Either way, it should help you further narrow down your list.
  • Ask others for advice. If you have friends that are lawyers, lawyer-like, or know lawyers, you can ask them for advice on the attorneys you have on your list. They may be able to give you information that you didn’t know or tell you who worked well for them previously.
  • Do deeper research. For your most serious prospects, do a deeper check to see how trustworthy each lawyer is, and if they have ever had disciplinary actions enacted against them. You can do this by checking references and looking into possible disciplinary actions.
  • Check out their firms. Lastly, you should go meet with your best choices in person. The way a firm and a lawyer’s office look is a good indication of how they operate.

After you complete these steps, you should have the right lawyer for you. Once you do, they can provide you with all the help you need, and tell you the information you should know, to simplify the legal process. You can ask them about anything you are curious about, from Court etiquette to trial dates, and everything in between.

If you’re interested in how to find a lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA contact Freedom Fast Bail Bonds today at (412) 368-5188 to learn more!