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Felony



A felony is the most serious category of crime, as contrasted with misdemeanors and violations. Typically, a felony is one that is punishable by more than one year in prison. Classic “serious” crimes such as homicide, robbery, grand theft, arson, rape and burglary are all felonies, though less serious forms of some of these crimes may be misdemeanors.

In addition to the punishment for the crime itself, convicted felons may see their rights decrease significantly for life. For example, in many states, convicted felons may not vote. Other rights that may be restricted for convicted felons, depending on a jurisdiction, may include the right to own firearms, ability to hold certain public jobs, to serve on juries and to participate in many public welfare programs.