When you were arrested for a third time for driving under the influence, you thought you might face another misdemeanor charge. Shockingly, when you spoke to your attorney, you found out you were being charged with a felony. Now, you’re not sure what to do, because a felony is significantly more serious than the misdemeanors you’ve had in the past.

Felonies are the most serious class of crime, and no two felonies are exactly the same. Each kind of felony falls into its own class, or category, depending on the kind of crime that was committed. For example, robberies and burglaries may be one kind, while murders may fall under another.

How are felonies punished?

Felonies are usually punished by fines, imprisonment or both, depending on the situation. If the individual is an immigrant when the crime is committed, it’s possible that the individual could face deportation proceedings. Since felonies are considered offensive to the moral standards of average Americans, those who are immigrants can be deported back to their countries of origin if the moral values are violated.

Felonies aren’t always given for a particularly severe criminal act. Sometimes, they are given as a response to a person’s actions when a person has committed the same crime multiple times. This is known as a three-strike rule, because many states make a third offense a felony.

What should you do if you’re accused of a felony?

Defend yourself. You have a right to speak with your attorney and defend your case. You deserve a fair trial and fair treatment during the case’s investigation.

Source: FindLaw, “Felonies,” accessed Sep. 01, 2017