Topics: Crime, Felony, Prison Pages: 3 (1232 words) Published: January 16, 2013
A felony is a serious criminal offense. It is specifically one punishable by death or by incarceration in a prison facility for more than a year. A misdemeanor is a minor violation of the criminal law, which is punishable by confinement for one year of less. Examples of felonies are murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, and arson. Examples of misdemeanors are petty theft, simple assault, breaking and entering, possessing burglary tools, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace filing false report, and writing bad checks. Misdemeanors are crimes that generally are punishable for a year or less in prison, of only in a county of local jail. Felonies are crimes that a punishable by law for up to life in prison without parole. The legislature plays a major role in a felony sentence. In 2010 President Barak Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act (FSA) into law. This act reduced a previous in the amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine specified by the federal sentencing guidelines and eliminated what had been a mandatory minimum sentence under federal law for simple possession of crack cocaine (Schmalleger & Smykla, p. 76, 2012). Mandatory minimum sentencing is the imposition of sentences required by statute for those convicted of a particular crime with special circumstances, such as robbery with a fire arm or selling drugs to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school, of for those with a particular type of criminal history (Schmallenger & Smykla, p. 77, 2012). The possibilities for convicted felons in terms of their sentence include probation and parole. Probation is the conditional release of a convicted offender into the community, under the supervision of a probation officer. It is conditional because it can be revoked if certain conditions are not met (Schmalleger & Smykla, p. 96, 2012). Parole is the conditional release of a prisoner, prior to completion it the imposed sentence, under the supervision of a probation officer (Schmalleger...
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