After the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, we heard it all over the TV, the news and social media, that the people involved would likely be facing felony charges. So what is a felony, and what exactly does that mean? In the United States, there are two classifications of criminal offenses, felonies and misdemeanors. Felony offenses are more serious, and are usually punishable by a possible prison term of one year or more. Different states have varying classifications of felony offenses based upon the seriousness of the offense, such as first degree felonies, class A felonies and class one felonies. Some examples of felony offenses are murder, rape, arson, robbery and drug trafficking. Each state has their own specific penalties for various felony offenses. The common thread of felony offenses is that a conviction can result in a state prison term, as opposed to a local jail term. Also, felony offense convictions may result in the loss of some valuable civil rights, such as the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office, and sometimes the loss of the right possess a firearm.
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