The more serious crimes committed by offenders are designated as a felony.
The more serious the crime, the longer the sentence it carries.
When we say that a crime is a designated felony, does that mean that there is such a thing as an undesignated felony?
This blog post will cover what an undesignated felony is.
- Classification of Felonies
- Significance of an Undesignated Felony
- Reducing an Undesignated Felony to a Misdemeanor
- Supporting Felons in Reducing Their Felony
Classification of Felonies
Each state has the responsibility for the classification of felonies, ranging from the most serious down to those considered to be the least severe.
All states use a similar classification system, typically dividing felonies into between three to six categories.
Some states use a letter classification system for felonies, ranging from Class A, the highest, to Class D or E, depending on how many categories that state uses.
Other states use a numbering system going from Class 1, the most serious, to Class 6, the least serious.
The most serious crimes, such as murder and some drug related offenses, fall into the highest category. These are the ones which carry the longest prison sentences.
In the lowest class of felonies are such crimes as possession of a small amount of certain drugs, receiving a stolen firearm, Internet gambling, or sale of child pornography.
Below the level of felonies, of course, are misdemeanors. These are less serious crimes, with domestic violence and DUI being the most common.
Misdemeanors are also divided into categories depending on the seriousness of each crime.
Of course again, it depends in which state the offense occurred.
One of the stipulations for deciding whether a crime is considered to be a felony is the length of the sentence. The minimum felony sentence is one year in prison.
Crimes which fall within the lowest classification may qualify for some type of adjudicated sentence.
This is if the crime did not involve violence and the use of a deadly weapon, and if the accused person does not have any previous criminal record. Otherwise, the sentence will carry a prison term.
Felonies which are in the lowest category, Class 6 or E, for states with that many levels of offense, are sometimes called undesignated felonies.
Significance of an Undesignated Felony
When a crime is termed an undesignated felony, there are immediate consequences as with any felony conviction, even if there is not a prison sentence.
There will be loss of the typical rights from which felons are restricted, such as the right to vote, own or possess a firearm, and hold public office.
If the accused successfully completes the terms of their sentence, including any prison time, probation, and restitution, the judge may then consider the crime as a misdemeanor.
This will result in a felony record being replaced with a misdemeanor record.
This is when the classification is essential.
A misdemeanor has far fewer collateral consequences than having a felony record.
In some cases, felonies may be classified as undesignated in order to offer an incentive to those convicted to follow the terms of the sentence in order to have a lower misdemeanor on their record.
The consequences here are far less.
Reducing an Undesignated Felony to a Misdemeanor
There are stipulations to be met in order to have an undesignated felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
First is past criminal record. Felons with more than two felony convictions on their record are not eligible for reduction.
Then the felony conviction must have been considered undesignated at the time of conviction. Any felony considered designated at the time of the conviction is not eligible for reduction.
It is important to get that felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
Those with a felony conviction have a much more difficult time in finding employment. While this is difficult, there are employers who will hire felons.
Then, if there is a felony on their record, the loss of rights is extended.
If the undesignated felony had been reduced to a misdemeanor, these rights would have been immediately restored.
What a difference that would be.
Imagine life after a sentence ends with a misdemeanor record. Those in these circumstances will have taken a major step in their rehabilitation.
They will go a long way to living an honest life. It will probably be easier to reconnect with their families and move forward.
Supporting Felons in Reducing Their Felony
For families of felons in the position with an undesignated felony, be there to encourage them and cheer them on.
There is a major reward for your loved one and the family if that undesignated felony is reduced. Take that opportunity to help them.
So what do you think about this blog post about what an undesignated felony is? Have you or someone you know had an undesignated felony? What was that like and were they successful in getting it reduced to a misdemeanor? Please tell us in the comments below.