Who is Considered a “Felon”?

Criminal Defense Attorney

Although it may come off as self-explanatory to some, it is not entirely clear to all who is referred to as a “felon”. Many people confuse the idea of any one who has been convicted of a criminal offense, as a felon, and this is not true. While a felon is an individual who has been both convicted and charged with a criminal offense, the criminal offenses that are categorized as felonies. An easy way to decipher a felony charge from a misdemeanor charge is the penalty given to an individual. Individuals who are given more than one year in prison for a criminal offense have been charged with a felony, and therefore are considered felons.

Felony offenses can be quite similar to misdemeanor offenses, in the sense that they are often times misdemeanor offenses intensified.  Examples of criminal offenses that are close to misdemeanors but can lead to felony charges are:

  •      Grand theft. Minimum property value or force required.
  •      Assault, but with a deadly weapon.
  •      Distribution of illegal substances, especially with the intent to sale.

However, a felony charge does not make an accused individual a felon. They would not be considered a felon unless that have been tried and convicted as well.

Unlike misdemeanor charges, felony charges can take an extensive process to be removed from your criminal record. As if that is not enough, certain rights are taken away from individuals that have been convicted of a felony offense. Laws vary from state to state, but in many cases, felons are not permitted to carry any weapons. Some states go as far as to restrict voting rights as well. It may be expected that felony charges affect employment, custody, and visitation with a child, depending on the severity of the crime committed.

If you are unsure of your criminal status and background it is best to contact an attorney. It is also wise to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney if you or someone you know is currently going through a criminal case. With the right attorney, the chances of a lighter sentence, charge, or post-sentence consequence is more likely. An attorney will be able to review the details of your case and educate you of your possible options and most likely outcome. If you or someone you know has been classified a felon, speak with a criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, GA as soon as possible to weigh out any options you may have.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and felons.

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