Felony
Overview
A felony is a serious crime in the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 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 misdemeanor
Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

s. Many common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between indictable offence
Indictable offence
In many common law jurisdictions , an indictable offence is an offence which can only be tried on an indictment after a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is a prima facie case to answer or by a grand jury...

s and summary offence
Summary offence
A summary offence is a criminal act in some common law jurisdictions that can be proceeded with summarily, without the right to a jury trial and/or indictment .- United States :...

s. A felony is generally considered to be a crime of "high seriousness
Seriousness
Seriousness is an attiude of gravity, solemnity, persistence, and earnestness toward something considered to be of importance....

", while a misdemeanor is not.

A person convicted in a court of law of a felony crime is known as a felon.
Encyclopedia
A felony is a serious crime in the common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 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 misdemeanor
Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

s. Many common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between indictable offence
Indictable offence
In many common law jurisdictions , an indictable offence is an offence which can only be tried on an indictment after a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is a prima facie case to answer or by a grand jury...

s and summary offence
Summary offence
A summary offence is a criminal act in some common law jurisdictions that can be proceeded with summarily, without the right to a jury trial and/or indictment .- United States :...

s. A felony is generally considered to be a crime of "high seriousness
Seriousness
Seriousness is an attiude of gravity, solemnity, persistence, and earnestness toward something considered to be of importance....

", 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
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, 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
Seriousness
Seriousness is an attiude of gravity, solemnity, persistence, and earnestness toward something considered to be of importance....

 or context.

Similar to felonies in some civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 countries (Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 etc.) are delict
Delict
In civil law, a delict is an intentional or negligent act which gives rise to a legal obligation between parties even though there has been no contract between them. Due to the large number of civil law systems in the world, it is hard to state any generalities about the concept...

s
, whereas in others (France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 etc.) crimes (more serious) and delicts (less serious).

Classification by subject matter

Felonies include but are not limited to the following:
  • Murder
    Murder
    Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

    ;
  • Rape
    Rape
    Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

    ;
  • Aggravated assault
    Assault
    In law, assault is a crime causing a victim to fear violence. The term is often confused with battery, which involves physical contact. The specific meaning of assault varies between countries, but can refer to an act that causes another to apprehend immediate and personal violence, or in the more...

     and/or battery
    Battery (crime)
    Battery is a criminal offense involving unlawful physical contact, distinct from assault which is the fear of such contact.In the United States, criminal battery, or simply battery, is the use of force against another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact...

    ;
  • Arson
    Arson
    Arson is the crime of intentionally or maliciously setting fire to structures or wildland areas. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion and natural wildfires...

    ;
  • Robbery
    Robbery
    Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or threat of force or by putting the victim in fear. At common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear....

    ;
  • Burglary
    Burglary
    Burglary is a crime, the essence of which is illicit entry into a building for the purposes of committing an offense. Usually that offense will be theft, but most jurisdictions specify others which fall within the ambit of burglary...

    ;
  • The manufacture, sale, distribution, or possession with intent to distribute
    Illegal drug trade
    The illegal drug trade is a global black market, dedicated to cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of those substances which are subject to drug prohibition laws. Most jurisdictions prohibit trade, except under license, of many types of drugs by drug prohibition laws.A UN report said the...

     of certain types and/or quantities of illegal drugs;
  • In some states, the simple possession (possession without intent to distribute, e.g., for personal use
    Drug abuse
    Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts...

    ) of certain types of illegal drugs, usually in more than a certain quantity but regardless of quantity for some drugs in some jurisdictions (such as Virginia for cocaine
    Cocaine
    Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

     and heroin) regardless of quantity;
  • Grand larceny
    Grand Larceny
    Grand Larceny is a 1987 thriller film directed by Jeannot Szwarc and starring Marilu Henner, Ian McShane, Omar Sharif and Louis Jourdan.-Plot summary:...

     or grand theft
    Grand theft
    Grand theft or grand larceny is a category used to rank the severity of crime associated with theft.Generally, in the United States it is defined as intentional taking property of others in an amount exceeding the state statutory amount....

    , i.e., larceny
    Larceny
    Larceny is a crime involving the wrongful acquisition of the personal property of another person. It was an offence under the common law of England and became an offence in jurisdictions which incorporated the common law of England into their own law. It has been abolished in England and Wales,...

     or theft
    Theft
    In common usage, theft is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud...

     above a certain statutorily established value or quantity of goods; and
  • Vandalism
    Vandalism
    Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable...

     on federal property.


Broadly, felonies can be characterized as either violent or nonviolent:
  • Violent offenses usually contain some element of force or a threat of force against a person. Some jurisdictions classify as violent certain property crimes involving a strong likelihood of psychological trauma
    Psychological trauma
    Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event...

     to the property owner; for example, Virginia treats both common-law burglary
    Burglary
    Burglary is a crime, the essence of which is illicit entry into a building for the purposes of committing an offense. Usually that offense will be theft, but most jurisdictions specify others which fall within the ambit of burglary...

     (the breaking and entering
    Breaking and Entering
    Breaking and Entering may refer to:* Burglary* Breaking and Entering * Breaking and Entering * Breaking and Entering * Breaking and Entering: Music from the Film* Breaking & Entering , episode...

     of a dwelling house at night with the intent to commit larceny, assault and battery, or any felony therein) and statutory burglary (breaking and entering with further criminal intent but without the dwelling-house or time elements, such that the definition applies to break-ins at any time and of businesses as well as of dwelling houses) as felonies.
  • Most offenses involving drugs or property alone are characterized as nonviolent.


Some offenses, though similar in nature, may be felonies or misdemeanors depending on the circumstances. For example, the illegal manufacture, distribution or possession of controlled substances may be a felony, although possession of small amounts may be only a misdemeanor
Misdemeanor
A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

. Possession of a deadly weapon may be generally legal, but carrying the same weapon into a restricted area such as a school may be viewed as a serious offense, regardless of whether there is intent to use the weapon. Additionally, driving while intoxicated in some states may be a misdemeanor if a first offense, but a felony on subsequent offenses.
"The common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 divided participants in a felony into four basic categories: (1) first-degree principals, those who actually committed the crime in question; (2) second-degree principals, aiders and abettor
Abettor
Abettor , is a legal term implying one who instigates, encourages or assists another to commit an offence.An abettor differs from an accessory in that he must be present at the commission of the crime; all abettors Abettor (from to abet, Old French abeter, á and beter, to bait, urge dogs upon any...

s present at the scene of the crime; (3) accessories
Accessory (legal term)
An accessory is a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal...

 before the fact, aiders and abettors who helped the principal before the basic criminal event took place; and (4) accessories after the fact, persons who helped the principal after the basic criminal event took place. In the course of the 20th century, however, American jurisdictions eliminated the distinction among the first three categories." Gonzales v. Duenas-Alvarez, (citations omitted).

Classification by seriousness

A felony may be punishable with imprisonment for one or more years or death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 in the case of the most serious felonies, such as murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

. Indeed, at common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 when the British and American legal systems divorced in 1776, felonies were crimes for which the punishment was either death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 or forfeiture
Asset forfeiture
Asset forfeiture is confiscation, by the State, of assets which are either the alleged proceeds of crime or the alleged instrumentalities of crime, and more recently, alleged terrorism. Instrumentalities of crime are property that was allegedly used to facilitate crime, for example cars...

 of property
Property
Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

. All felonies remain considered a serious crime
High Crime
High Crime , also known by its UK video title The Marseilles Connection, is a 1973 poliziottesco film directed by Enzo G. Castellari. The film stars Franco Nero, James Whitmore, Delia Boccardo and Fernando Rey....

, but concerns of proportionality
Proportionality (law)
Proportionality is a principle in law which covers two distinct concepts. Within municipal law it is used to convey the idea that the punishment of an offender should fit the crime...

 (i.e., that the punishment fit the crime) have in modern times prompted legislatures to require or permit the imposition of less serious punishments, ranging from lesser terms of imprisonment
Imprisonment
Imprisonment is a legal term.The book Termes de la Ley contains the following definition:This passage was approved by Atkin and Duke LJJ in Meering v Grahame White Aviation Co....

 to the substitution of a jail
Jail
A jail is a short-term detention facility in the United States and Canada.Jail may also refer to:In entertainment:*Jail , a 1966 Malayalam movie*Jail , a 2009 Bollywood movie...

 sentence or even the suspension
Suspended sentence
A suspended sentence is a legal term for a judge's delaying of a defendant's serving of a sentence after they have been found guilty, in order to allow the defendant to perform a period of probation...

 of all incarceration contingent upon a defendant's successful completion of probation
Probation
Probation literally means testing of behaviour or abilities. In a legal sense, an offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer...

. Standards for measurement of an offense's seriousness include attempts to quantitatively estimate and compare the effects of a crime upon its specific victims or upon society generally.

In some states, all or most felonies are placed into one of various classes according to their seriousness and their potential punishment upon conviction. The number of classifications and the corresponding crimes vary by state and are determined by the legislature. Usually, the legislature also determines the maximum punishment allowable for each felony class; doing so avoids the necessity of defining specific sentences for every possible crime. For example:
  • Virginia classifies most felonies by number, ranging from Class 6 (least severe: 1 to 5 years in prison or up to 12 months in jail) through Class 2 (20 years to life, e.g., first-degree murder and aggravated malicious wounding) up to Class 1 (life imprisonment
    Life imprisonment
    Life imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life...

     or the death penalty
    Capital punishment
    Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

    , reserved for certain types of murders). Some felonies remain outside the classification system and have
  • New York State classifies felonies by letter, with some classifies divided into sub-classes by Roman numeral; classes range from Class E (encompassing the least severe felonies) through Classes D, C, B, and A–II up to Class A–I (encompassing the most severe).

History

According to Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham
Jeremy Bentham was an English jurist, philosopher, and legal and social reformer. He became a leading theorist in Anglo-American philosophy of law, and a political radical whose ideas influenced the development of welfarism...

 (1748-1832), the English Code made a separation between trahisons, felonies avec clergies, prœmunireand misdemeanours. According to him this names appears enigmatic and do not give any clue on the offence, but only on the condemnation. In particular misdemeanours are those offences which are not in one of the three first categories.

He attributes the opacity of this classification to history, when trahisons and felonies would have Normand and feodal origins. The felonies avec clergies and the felonies sans clergies would have for origins the power of christianism. And finally under the King Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 prœmunire would have been created by christianism,

Then, according to him, this classification had not been changed, as the more fuzzy and obscure it is, the more attorney have liberty in their choice,.

The Trials for Felony Act 1836
Trials for Felony Act 1836
The Trials for Felony Act 1836 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.This Act was repealed in part by the Summary Jurisdiction Act 1848....

 (6 & 7 Will 4 c 114) allowed persons indicted for felony to be represented by counsel or attorney.

A person prosecuted for felony was called a prisoner.

United States

The reform of harsh felony laws that had originated in Great Britain was deemed "one of the first fruits of liberty" after the United States became independent.

In many parts of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, a convicted felon can face long-term legal consequences persisting after the end of their imprisonment, including:
  • Disenfranchisement
    Felony disenfranchisement
    Felony disenfranchisement is the term used to describe the practice of prohibiting people from voting based on the fact that they have been convicted of a felony or other criminal offence...

     (which the Supreme Court
    Supreme Court of the United States
    The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

     interpreted
    Judicial review
    Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority...

     to be permitted by the Fourteenth Amendment
    Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
    The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

    )
  • Exclusion from obtaining certain license
    License
    The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

    s, such as a visa, or professional licenses required in order to legally operate (making many vocations off-limits to felons)
  • Exclusion from purchase and possession of firearms, ammunition
    Ammunition
    Ammunition is a generic term derived from the French language la munition which embraced all material used for war , but which in time came to refer specifically to gunpowder and artillery. The collective term for all types of ammunition is munitions...

     and body armor
  • Ineligibility for serving on a jury
    Jury
    A jury is a sworn body of people convened to render an impartial verdict officially submitted to them by a court, or to set a penalty or judgment. Modern juries tend to be found in courts to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime. In Anglophone jurisdictions, the verdict may be guilty,...

  • Ineligibility for government assistance or welfare
    Welfare
    Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

    , including being barred from federally funded housing
  • Deportation
    Deportation
    Deportation means the expulsion of a person or group of people from a place or country. Today it often refers to the expulsion of foreign nationals whereas the expulsion of nationals is called banishment, exile, or penal transportation...

     (if the criminal is not a citizen)


Additionally, most job applications and rental applications ask about felony history, (with the exception of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) and answering dishonestly on them can be grounds for rejecting the application, or termination if the lie is discovered after hire. It is legal to discriminate against felons in hiring decisions as well as the decision to rent housing to a person, so felons face barriers to finding both jobs and housing. A common term of parole is to avoid associating with other felons. In some neighborhoods with high rates of felony conviction, this creates a situation where many felons live with a constant threat of being arrested for violating parole.

Many bonding companies will not issue bonds to convicted felons, also effectively barring them from certain jobs. Many banks will refuse service to convicted felons.

Some states also consider a felony conviction to be grounds for an uncontested divorce
Divorce
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

.

The status and designation as a "convicted felon" is considered permanent, and is not extinguished upon sentence
Criminal sentencing in the United States
In the United States, a judge sentences a person convicted of a crime. The length of the prison term depends upon multiple factors including the severity and type of the crime, state and/or federal sentencing guidelines, the convicted's criminal record, and the personal discretion of the judge...

 completion even if parole
Parole
Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system. All of the meanings originated from the French parole . Following its use in late-resurrected Anglo-French chivalric practice, the term became associated with the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their...

, probation
Probation
Probation literally means testing of behaviour or abilities. In a legal sense, an offender on probation is ordered to follow certain conditions set forth by the court, often under the supervision of a probation officer...

 or early release was given. The status can only be cleared by a successful appeal or executive clemency. However, felons may be able to apply for restoration of some rights after a certain period of time has passed.

In some states, restoration of those rights may depend on repayment of various fees associated with the felon's arrest, processing, and prison stay.

Expungement

For state law convictions, expungement
Expungement
In the common law legal system, an expungement proceeding is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed, thereby making the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories. If successful, the...

 is determined by the law of the state. A few states do not allow expungement, regardless of the offense.

Federal law does not have any provisions for persons convicted of federal felonies in a federal United States district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 to apply to have their record expunged. While the pending Second Chance Act which may change this, at present the only relief that an individual prosecuted in federal court may receive is a Presidential Pardon, which does not expunge the conviction, but rather grants relief from the civil disabilities that stem from it.

Federal Republic of Germany

A felony (Verbrechen) is defined as a crime that is punishable with at least one year of imprisonment.

Misdemeanours (Vergehen) are all other crimes punishable by imprisonment of less than one year or by fine.

However, in some cases a very severe version misdemeanour may be punished with imprisonment of more than one year, yet the crime itself remains considered a misdemeanour. Same applies for a milder version of a felony that is punishable with imprisonment less then 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.

A plea bargain
Plea bargain
A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence.A plea bargain allows criminal defendants to...

 (Strafbefehl) is not applicable for felony crimes at all.

See also

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • Compounding a felony
    Compounding a felony
    Compounding a felony was an offence under the common law of England and was classified as a misdemeanour. It consisted of a prosecutor or victim of an offence accepting anything of value under an agreement not to prosecute, or hamper the prosecution of, a felony...

  • Criminal law
    Criminal law
    Criminal law, is the body of law that relates to crime. It might be defined as the body of rules that defines conduct that is not allowed because it is held to threaten, harm or endanger the safety and welfare of people, and that sets out the punishment to be imposed on people who do not obey...

  • Civil law
    Civil law (common law)
    Civil law, as opposed to criminal law, is the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim...

  • Drug Enforcement Administration
    Drug Enforcement Administration
    The Drug Enforcement Administration is a federal law enforcement agency under the United States Department of Justice, tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States...

     (DEA)
  • Employment discrimination against felons in the United States
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    Federal Bureau of Investigation
    The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

     (FBI)
  • FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
    FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
    The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

  • Federal crime
    Federal crime
    In the United States, a federal crime or federal offense is a crime that is made illegal by U.S. federal legislation. In the United States, criminal law and prosecution happen at both the federal and the state levels; thus a “federal crime” is one that is prosecuted under federal criminal law, and...

  • Felony murder
    Felony murder
    The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills accidentally or without specific intent to kill in the course of an applicable felony, what might have been manslaughter is escalated to murder...

  • Handhabend
    Handhabend
    In Saxon law, handhabend was a term applied to a thief who was found having the stolen goods in his possession; the thief himself was a hontfongenethef. "Handhabend" is derived from "having [a thing] in his hand".By extension, the term also means the jurisdiction to try a thief caught with the...

     and Backberend
    Backberend
    In Saxon law, backberend was a term applied to a thief who was found having the stolen goods in his possession. The term is derived from "bearing upon the back" and was customarily used with handhabend....

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Infraction
  • IRS
  • Law of the United States
    Law of the United States
    The law of the United States consists of many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States...

  • Misdemeanor
    Misdemeanor
    A misdemeanor is a "lesser" criminal act in many common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions and regulatory offences...

  • One strike, you're out
  • Record sealing
    Record sealing
    Record sealing is the practice of sealing or, in some cases, destroying court records that would otherwise be publicly accessible as public records. The term is derived from the tradition of placing a seal on specified files or documents that prevents anyone from reviewing the files without...

  • Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
    Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
    The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization...

     (RICO)
  • State court (United States)
  • Supreme Court of the United States
    Supreme Court of the United States
    The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

  • Three Strikes Law
    Three strikes law
    Three strikes laws)"are statutes enacted by state governments in the United States which require the state courts to hand down a mandatory and extended period of incarceration to persons who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense on three or more separate occasions. These statutes became...

  • United States district court
    United States district court
    The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

  • United States Marshals Service
    United States Marshals Service
    The United States Marshals Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice . The office of U.S. Marshal is the oldest federal law enforcement office in the United States; it was created by the Judiciary Act of 1789...

  • United States Postal Inspection Service
    United States Postal Inspection Service
    The United States Postal Inspection Service is the law enforcement arm of the United States Postal Service. Its jurisdiction is defined as "crimes that may adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S...

  • United States Secret Service
    United States Secret Service
    The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...


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