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The following is for informational purposes only

What Is a Class B Felony?

Those who commit the most heinous acts against others are Class A felony offenders. Class B felonies are reserved for severe criminal actions, those bad enough to warrant strict punishment.

A Crash Course in Crimes and Classes

What are Felonies?

Felonies, on the other hand, are permanent; they are attached to your name and Social Security Number, so trying to outrun one is tricky. In many cases, being charged with a felony is grounds for social ostracization, tearing families apart at the seams.

Only adults can be charged with felonies, and those charges are tough to escape once they are laid—these rank from the mildly concerning crimes to the worst. The difference in a misdemeanor vs. felony case can be the occurrence of weapons, threats, or outright violence.

What are Classes?

"Classes" or "Levels", along with a number or letter, are used to indicate the severity of a crime. For example, we might speak of Class A/1 or Level 1/A to speak about a murder. In the judiciary sphere, the highest number or letters referenced gives weight to how severe the corresponding punishments may be.

Suppose a Class A crime is committed; a premeditated arson burns down a horse stable. Once arrested, the arsonist is looking at thousands of dollars of fines for the Class A felonies. But if the arsonist had information on some other Class A felony crimes, that Class A arson felony might be lowered to a Class B.

It’s essential to know the differences between Class A felonies and others. A Class A felony signifies the accused has committed a terrible act—or at least they have been found guilty. Other felonies are disqualifications for many things, but none like Class A.

What is a Class B felony?

Class B felonies are crimes with a more severe punishment than lower classes; however, they are not the heaviest charges a person can have laid on them. Additionally, many crimes are considered Class B because what qualifies them into classes changes between states.

How do I Know What’s a Class B Felony?

Many States Think Alike

Although every state can identify their felonies however they wish, many stick together. For example, at least 18 states recognize the classification and letter ranking system. Most of these states also agree on the punishments for Class A crimes—where they differ is Class B felonies.

One does not need to know the classifications for their state—they need to know of similar states. This can be helpful if thinking about getting justice after a crime is committed against you. The same laws do not affect Texas and Massachusetts—yet knowing about the surrounding states can suggest their statutes.

Do Research on Your Local Area

Having an idea of the laws in your area means more than just knowing about the surrounding states. Research the local laws and classes for your area. It’s the best way to know when to leave escalating situations and defend yourself with legal counsel.

What are the Consequences of being Charged with a Class B Felony?

A Search Warrant May be Issued

In the state of Nevada, for example, a search warrant can be issued; the police need this if they want to search for something that the accused has an expectation of privacy over. They can enter the accused’s property if they ask for a search warrant for a home.

The officers must follow guidelines even when executing these warrants. For example, the warrant only grants access to everything beyond the accused’s bedroom. Or if renting, the rental agreement should state what privacies the accused has, if any.

Said another briefer way, search warrants are not something anyone wants in their life. They allow strangers to enter a home; if the homeowner is not aware of their rights, they may incriminate themselves further.

Long-Term Imprisonment

Class B felonies usually carry an imprisonment clause of one to twenty years. Depending on the severity of the crime and the state, that twenty years can grow as high as sixty. In most cases, a person will serve maximum time for a Class B felony.

Hefty Fines and Penalties

Significant fines are also attached to many Class B felonies. Penalties can be as low as $1,000 and range up to $250,000. The exact cost of penalties attached to a criminal case is created by combining multiple factors into a judge’s ruling; things like if the crime was committed with a weapon, if there was property damage, or if someone died.

Examples of a Class B Felony

In Wisconsin…

Class B felonies have consequences of up to sixty years imprisonment and fines. These can include crimes like 1st-degree sexual assault or reckless homicide, or 2nd-degree intentional homicide.

In New York…

Class B felonies have imprisonment of up to twenty-five years or more plus fines. These felonies include crimes of kidnapping, arson, extortion, and assault with intent.

In Washington…

Class B felonies are accompanied by up to ten years and thousands of dollars of penalties. These crimes include 2nd-degree assault, car theft, residential burglary and robbery, and manslaughter.

In Arizona…

Class B felonies only have sentencing of up to ten years, along with a $20,000 fine. In Arizona, there are many Class B crimes: manslaughter, mayhem, gambling fraud, and human trafficking, to name a few.

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