Felonies are the highest level of offenses, ranging from the most serious crimes of burglary, arson, rape, homicide, and drug dealing to lesser crimes like disorderly conduct. The word felony originally referred to a crime that resulted in a prison sentence, or the confiscation of property of another, to include the victim, who can include a spouse, child, parent, or sibling. In the United States, felonies are divided into four categories. The most serious felonies are punishable by life imprisonment. The second highest category is prison time with the possibility of parole, probation, or release on a probationary basis. The third category involves a prison sentence of two years or more with the possibility of parole, probation, or release on a probationary basis. The fourth category involves a prison sentence of five years or more with the possibility of release on parole, probation, or release on a probationary basis.
Each state has different types of felonies. If you were arrested for a felony in one state, it does not mean that you will be arrested for a felony in another state. It only means that if the state in which you were arrested has a higher level of felony charges, then the state of the arrest would also have a higher level of felony charges. Some states only have misdemeanor felony charges, while other states have both a misdemeanor and a felony charge. Sometimes, a person charged with a felony is tried for both a misdemeanor and a felony. This is not to say that the person was tried for every felony offense.
Most prison terms are for life. For some crimes, however, the prison term can be reduced or suspended, such as the case of child pornography. If you were convicted of a felony, and your case is still pending, you may be entitled to probation. However, if you were convicted of a misdemeanor, and your case is dismissed, you may be subject to jail time.