Misdemeanors and Felonies

In criminal law, there are two main types of criminal activity: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are lesser acts that are not punished as harshly as felonies. Felonies embody more serious crimes, and the penalties for committing a felony can be very severe, depending the class felony and the crime itself.


Misdemeanors embody “lesser criminal acts,” such as petty theft, vandalism, disorderly conduct, and public intoxication. These crimes are not considered to be as disturbing or dangerous as felonies, so they are considered on a lower level. Many times, misdemeanors are punished by the revocation of certain civil privileges, such as driver’s licenses.

In Wisconsin, there are three classes of misdemeanors: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A is the most serious of the three, and the perpetrator may be penalized for this misdemeanor by a fine of up to $10,000, incarceration for 9 months or less, or both. A Class C misdemeanor, on the other hand, may be punished by a $500 fine and jail time of 30 days, at most.


Felonies, on the other hand, encompass much more serious acts and are therefore punished much more severely. Examples of felonies include aggravated assault, murder, burglary, and rape. Clearly, these crimes are on a much different level than misdemeanors, since the well being of others is at stake.

In Wisconsin, Class A through Class I felonies exist, with Class A being the most severe of the nine. Even a Class I felony is penalized more gravely than a Class A misdemeanor, with a fine of $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 3 ½ years. Those who commit Class A felonies face a charge of imprisonment for life.

Contact Us

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. can help you. Please contact their law office today at (414) 271-9595 to set up an appointment.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : January 13, 2016