What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

Misdemeanors may be punishable up to 1 year in the county jail, whereas felonies may be punishable up to life in prison or even death in capital cases. Some folks may be eligible for a form of probation in lieu of incarceration.


A felony conviction strips citizens of some privileges and rights such as owning firearms or the ability to vote.


Misdemeanors classified as “crimes of moral turpitude” carry far-reaching consequences such as the inability to sit on a jury or obtain Government licensing such as becoming a real estate agent, certified public accountant (CPA) or even leasing an apartment. Crimes of moral turpitude include theft and prostitution.