In the federal system, a felony is a crime that can be punished by a term of one year or more imprisonment. Federal felonies are classified, in large part, by the severity of the offense.
Class A Felonies
A Class A felony is the most severe type of federal felony. These offenses typically involve violent crimes, and the maximum term of imprisonment is life, or for the most serious offenses, death.
Class B Felonies
Class B felonies are the next most severe type of federal felony and typically involve serious crimes such as drug trafficking. Class B felonies are punishable by twenty-five years or more imprisonment.
Class C Felonies
Class C felonies, also very serious crimes, are punishable by less than twenty-five but at least ten or more years imprisonment. Common offenses include drug trafficking crimes (depending on the amount of drugs) and certain firearm offenses.
Class D Felonies
A Class D Felony is punishable by less than ten years, but at least five years imprisonment.
Class E Felonies
Although they are the least severe in terms of potential incarceration, Class E felonies are still serious. They are federal crimes that can be punished by more than one year by less than five years imprisonment.
If you have been charged with a federal felony, it is crucial to seek legal counsel immediately to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible defense.