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Definition Edit

A felony is a serious crime in the United States and previously other common law countries.

Overview Edit

The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Most common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between "summary offences" and "indictable offences."

In the United States, where the felony/misdemeanor distinction is still widely applied, the federal government defines a felony as a crime which involves a potential punishment of one year or longer in prison.[1]

References Edit

  1. 18 U.S.C. §3559.

See also Edit

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