Felonies are considered more serious crimes and carry much more severe punishments.
Felonies include charges like :
- Distrubition of Illegal Narcotics
- Obstruction of Justice
- Aggravated Assault
- Criminal Battery
- Vandalism of Federal Property
- Violating Parole
- Mail Tampering
Felonies are divided into six classes :
- Class 1 – Maximum Sentence of Death
- Class 2 – 20 Years to Life
- Class 3 – 5 to 20 Years
- Class 4 – 2 to 10 Years
- Class 5 – 1 to 10 Years
- Class 6 – 1 to 5 Years
In addition to years in prison the court can impose a monetary fine as well. Most felony cases begin in General District Court; however, because the court does not have jurisdiction to resolve felony cases, only the preliminary hearing is heard in general district court. The final resolution of a felony case is in Circuit Court. The preliminary hearing provides the accused an opportunity to hear a portion of the case against them. The prosecutor will present evidence of the case for the judge to decide whether there is enough probable cause for the accused to be properly charged. The accused may cross-examine witnesses and may present evidence if they wish. If the general district judge decides that there is enough evidence, he will certify the case to the Circuit Court where a Grand Jury will review the evidence.
If the accused is convicted in Circuit Court, they can appeal to the Court of Appeals. The notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals has to be filed within 30 days of the final trial date. Unlike an appeal from General District Court, you do not get a new hearing in the Court of Appeals. They will not hear any new evidence, but will review the record from the previous proceeding for legal errors.