WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY CHARGES?
In Kansas, there are three levels of crimes including felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. Felonies are going to be the most serious, and could consist of drug charges, burglaries, robberies, etc.
Misdemeanors are much more middle of the road crimes. This is what most every day, average person get busted for at some point in their life. An example would be something like simple possession of marijuana, a DUI, shoplifting and things of that nature.
Lastly, infractions are what literally everybody is going to be busted for at some point in their life, such as speeding tickets and things like that.
As far as the difference in how it all works, for misdemeanors, the state legislature breaks those down into four groups. You have Class A misdemeanors; Class B misdemeanors; Class C misdemeanors and unclassified misdemeanors. An unclassified misdemeanor just means it doesn’t fit into any of the other three groupings. They are kind of the unique cases, like if someone sells cars without a license. The bulk of misdemeanors, however, are going to fall into A, B, or C.
Class A misdemeanor is the most severe and is going to carry the most punishment which could be anywhere from zero days in jail all the way up to a year.
A Class B misdemeanor is going to consist of a lot of first time offenses such as DUI and driving on a suspended license. Those are going to be kind of smack dab in the middle of misdemeanor crimes so you would be looking at zero to six months in jail.
A class C is the lowest level misdemeanor. Those types of offenses would carry a penalty of zero to 30 days in jail.
When you look at felonies, it gets a little more complicated.
The legislature has essentially divided felonies into two groups – drug felonies and non-drug felonies. Of those two divisions, if you’re looking at drug felonies, it’s going to be severity level one through severity level five; One being the most severe, five being the least.
The other side of the felony spectrum is the non-drug felonies. Non-drug felonies are going to rank all the way from one to ten. Again, one is going to be the most severe and ten is going to be the least severe.