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What's the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

There are many differences between a misdemeanor and a felony but these differences can be quite ambiguous as it is defined from state to state in the United States or in different countries. Generally, a misdemeanor is mostly defined by how long a person can be jailed or incarcerated for the crime, which is usually not going to last for more than a year. On the other hand, crimes that involve incarcerations that occur for more than a year is considered a felony. Others more simply define it as saying that any crime that is not considered a felony is a misdemeanor.

In crimes that involve damage to property or stolen property, the charge can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the dollar amount of the damage or the value of the missing property.

A person who commits a misdemeanor after he has reached the age of 18 will have this permanently on his records. This means that employers who do a background check will find out about these charges. The person should, thus, always be forthcoming and honest about the circumstances of the crime. A felony is also something that is remains permanently on a person's records. This is especially true if the crime was committed as an adult. Because of this, people who have felonies on their record find It hard to gain employment. This is one factor for criminal recidivism -- a term used to describe a person's likelihood to return to a life of crime.

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