Massachusetts Felony Offenses
As a Massachusetts criminal defense, Attorney Michael DelSignore will gladly explain to you the difference between Felony and misdemeanor offenses.
The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor offense is that a felony offense carries with it a maximum penalty of over 2.5 years in the house of correction or allows for a sentence of State prison time. Also, a felony conviction will subject you to the requirement of having to submit to a DNA test.
A felony offense is the most serious type of crime. There is vast variety in degrees of felonies and seriousness of felony charges. Once a charge meets the definition of felony under Massachusetts law, a conviction of the crime would carry all the potential consequences of a felony conviction. While many employers will allow people to work with misdemeanor convictions, felony convictions can be a complete bar to many types of employment.
Here are some examples of felony offense:
Rape, indecent assault and battery, distribution of cocaine, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and larceny over $ 250.00 to name a few felony offense.What Court hears felony offenses?
A Massachusetts felony offense can be heard either in district court or superior court. If a felony is heard in district court, the maximum sentence that can be imposed is 2.5 years in the house of correction. If the Commonwealth seeks an indictment and brings the case to superior court, the Commonwealth can seek State prison time and jail time up to the statutory maximum punishment.
Massachusetts felony offenses require a strong defense and an exhaustive preparation for trial. In some cases, a prosecutor may be willing to agree to reduce a charge to a misdemeanor offense in order for the case to be resolved. In other cases, to avoid a felony conviction a trial before a judge or jury will be required.Superior Court Felony Offenses
The Massachusetts Superior Court docket is made up almost exclusively of felony offenses. A misdemeanor offense can go along with a felony offense and be heard in superior court, but if the case is in superior court, it will be a felony offenses and typically a serious case. The district attorneys will indict cases, moving them to superior court if any of the following situations arise:
- The charge has no district court jurisdiction.
- The charge has concurrent jurisdiction but the defendant has a lengthy record.
- The seriousness of the case requires it to be heard in superior court.
If you have questions about whether a criminal charge is a Felony or Misdemeanor or would like to discuss contesting the charge in court, feel free to call Attorney DelSignore at 781-686-5924.