Misdemeanors and Felonies
A misdemeanor is a crime which is punished by one year or less in jail.
While misdemeanors do not have the same effect as felonies in terms of a defendant’s civil rights, they can stay on your record for the rest of your life. Also, some misdemeanors may continue to affect you well after your court date. Obligations such as restitution, probation and good behavior can influence your life for years after a conviction.
A felony may be punished by a year or more in prison. In addition, a felony conviction can result in probation and strip a person of important rights, such as the right to vote. A felony conviction may influence present and future work opportunities and eligibility for public benefits.