重罪 are substantially more complicated then their lesser cousins, 轻罪和严重轻罪. 由法律规定, the difference between a Felony and a Misdemeanor is that a felony can be punished by 365 days in jail (1 year) or more, while a Misdemeanor must be punished by 364 days or less. This is a less important distinction then it appears. While felonies can be punished by more then a year, a substantial share will be punished by less then that, 甚至连坐牢的日子都没有. The other differences are much more substantial.
重罪案件由高级法院审理, while District Court handles misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor cases. This is a larger difference then it appears. Superior Court is far more formal then District Court. Events generally flow at a more regular pace, and the court is far more insistent on formalities. Your counsel will need to push you to make decisions quickly at times, 而不是能够继续下去.
The next big difference is how sentencing is done. 在地方法院, 法官的审判范围总是很广, 轻罪0-90, 严重轻罪监禁0-364天. Judges do not have that discretion in Washington. There is essentially a ‘book’ called the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines. These guidelines must be followed unless there exist mitigating or aggravating factors, 允许法官下达以下命令, 或以上准则句子.
最后, there are additional consequences of conviction of a felony, 这在较小的情况下是不存在的. The judge has little discretion for these kinds of things. 您使用的权利, 自己的, 否则将被剥夺枪支, 你可能会失去投票权, and you will be subject to what people commonly think of as ‘probation’ in the form of community custody. This means you will have an officer charged by the state to make sure you are following whatever conditions the court placed upon you. That means that even if you are not in jail, the state can compel you to a number of things. The most common felony by far is simple possession of drugs. 尽管上述情况看起来很可怕, the truth is that there are many things an experienced attorney can try to help a client accused of Felony. Many of the above can be avoided or ameliorated in some cases. The best thing to do is to contact experienced defense counsel the moment you get wind of anything like being charged with a Felony.