A felony is a serious crime in the common law countries. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Many common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between indictable offenses and summary offenses. A felony is generally considered to be a crime of "high seriousness", while a misdemeanor is not.

A person convicted in a court of law of a felony crime is known as a felon. In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor. The individual states may differ in this definition, using other categories as seriousness or context.

Similar to felonies in some civil law countries (Italy, etc.) are delicts, whereas in others (France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland etc.) crimes (more serious) and delicts (less serious).

Read more about FelonyUnited States, Federal Republic of Germany

Other articles related to "felony":

Rummel V. Estelle - Background
... the offense in question, twice pled guilty to felony charges involving property In 1964, Rummel pled guilty to fraudulent use of a credit card to obtain $80 worth of goods or services ... $50, under Texas law the offense was classified as a felony punishable by 2–10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC) ... The offense was classified as a felony by 2–5 years in the TDC ...
Lopez V. Gonzales - Opinion of The Court - Dissenting Opinion
... Justice Thomas accepted the Government's interpretation of the phrase "felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act." Because Lopez's crime was a felony under ...
Lopez V. Gonzales
47 (2006), held that an "aggravated felony" includes only conduct punishable as a felony under the federal Controlled Substances Act, regardless of whether state law classifies such conduct as ... of having a prior conviction for an "aggravated felony." One is that, if the convicted person is an alien, he will be deported ... crimes, a prior conviction for an aggravated felony provides a sentencing enhancement ...
Compounding A Felony
... Compounding a felony was an offence under the common law of England and was classified as a misdemeanour ... prosecute, or to hamper the prosecution of, a felony ... Under the common law, compounding a felony was punishable as a misdemeanor although many states have enacted statutes that punish the offense as a felony ...
Felony - Federal Republic of Germany
... Same applies for a milder version of a felony that is punishable with imprisonment less than a year ... An attempt to commit a felony crime is always punishable whilst an attempt to commit a misdemeanour is solely punishable if particularly prescribed by law ...

Famous quotes containing the word felony:

    Publishers are notoriously slothful about numbers, unless they’re attached to dollar signs—unlike journalists, quarterbacks, and felony criminal defendents who tend to be keenly aware of numbers at all times.
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