What exactly are Felonies ?
Felonies are the most serious type of crime that can be committed. While each state has different punishments for crimes on the felony list, the definition of a felony is standard throughout the states.
There have been almost 2 million felony convictions in the United States over the past decade. The definition of a felony is the same throughout the 50 states in the United States of America. Felonies are crimes that are punishable by more than one year in prison or by execution, if the felony is a capital offense. Felonies differ from misdemeanor offenses not only in the length of the sentence upon a finding of guilt, but also in the procedural law that must be followed in the case of a felony.
In the case of felonies, the procedure is started with an Original Complaint filed by a plaintiff. The plaintiff is generally someone who has been victimized by the felon. Upon review of the original complaint, a warrant for the arrest of a person is issued, and he or she is brought into police headquarters for questioning.
The accused is then released or held. If the person is held for a preliminary hearing before a judge in the arraignment section, the judge can decide to remand this person to jail awaiting trial, or set bail with a new court date. If the District Attorney for that county determines that the charges are serious enough to warrant felony consideration, a Grand Jury is summoned to decide whether there are enough grounds to go to trial in Supreme Court on felony charges.
The alternatives for a convicted felon are not pleasant. Felons are generally remanded to prison upon a finding of guilt for a period of time not less than one year. If they have followed the rules while in prison, they can be released to parole supervision upon a determination by the Board of Parole in that particular state.
Convicted felons lose many citizenship rights depending on their crime of conviction. Sex offenders are put on felon lists for sex offenders; their names are made public and they must notify local authorities when they move into a neighborhood
The recidivism rates for some felonies such as Burglaries, Drug-Related Offenses, and Sex Crimes are as high as 95% in some parts of the country. With the rates of the commission of felonies rising at the rate of almost 2% every year, individuals should take all necessary steps in order to protect themselves. One of the best ways we can do this is to authorize felony conviction searches on people who make us feel uneasy. Itís always better to be safe than to be sorry!