There are five classes of felony in the state of New York. Those classes are A, B, C, D, and E. Many states only use three or four classes and often reserve murder charges for a special class, making classification reduction difficult. The extra classes allow latitude in case adjudication for both sides of the charge. Class A is generally reserved for murder charges or treason, which is a rare criminal charge. Class A felonies are often taken to trial for a variety of reasons, including charge severity and the potential for acquittal. Class B is normally reserved for homicide and other forms of violent crime, but can include drug trafficking when huge amounts of controlled substances are confiscated. Class C is actually the most common level of felony charge, even when the material case evidence may not support the state prosecutor’s classification. This means the prosecutor can bargain down and still not receive much criticism for being “soft on crime” or some other public response. Class D and E felony charges are the lowest range of felonies, usually applied in cases where the criminal activity is not malicious in nature but are technically in the felony category. This is the level where many Class C felony charges are finally prosecuted or bargained for settlement. Our criminal lawyers can help with all of these felony classes.
Felonies are clearly the legal situations that everyone wants to avoid. The problem is that there are five different levels of felony charges in New York state, which can create confusion. It also creates a legal possibility for amending the charges within the classes. Always remember that the state prosecutes felony charges and the municipality prosecutes misdemeanors. Felonies are prosecuted much more vigorously because the community wants the state to maintain a grip on serious criminal activity in one of the leading states in the union, with one the world’s most vibrant cities in New York City. State prosecutors mean business. However, prosecutors have the authority to reduce any felony by one level using their own discretion, and then even further if a criminal attorney can present your case in negotiating a settlement in a manner that cast reasonable doubt on criminal activity by the defendant.