A felony is the most serious type of crime and covers a vast array of criminal acts. That said, a lot of people don’t realize that there are many types of felonies. To clarify the difference between misdemeanors and felonies, we focus on the various types of felonies and the consequences of these actions.
In Oregon, there are two different levels of crime: misdemeanor and felony. The state defines some felony crimes further as a Measure 11 crime. Crimes included in Measure 11 are just considered felonies in other states, but Oregon has Measure 11 to ensure minimum sentences are carried out for those violent crimes and serious sex offenses. Each felony crime falls within a different class.
Various Classes of Felonies
There are four separate categories for felony crimes, and they all vary in sentencing. That said, because of the Measure 11 law, there are some crimes that have an even higher sentencing with more extreme consequences. The basic sentencing and fining guide for felonies can be seen here.
|Crime Class||Maximum Sentence||Fine|
|Class “C” Felony||Up to five years||Up to $125,000|
|Class “B” Felony||Up to 10 years||Up to $250,000|
|Class “A” Felony||Up to 20 years||Up to $375,000|
|“Unclassified” Felony||Penalties are specific to the crime|
A full list of the different felonies and misdemeanors in Oregon can help determine how to classify a crime. Below, we’ll specifically discuss some of the most common types of felonies.
Different Types of Felonies
Felonies Against a Person
Assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the situation. Assault with a dangerous weapon, for example, is considered a Class B felony, but “simple assault” (like punching someone with an intent to cause harm) is a Class A misdemeanor. If an assault charge is in the first or second degrees, then it is a Measure 11 crime and punishable by a mandatory 70 months in prison. Assault felonies range from the first to third degrees and all result in serious jail time.
Rape and Sexual Assault
In Oregon, there are numerous sexual assault and rape laws. The consequences and charges of such actions range based upon a few different things: the type of sexual misconduct, the age of the victim, and whether the offender was in a position of authority. First degree through third degree rape or sodomy, sexual abuse, unlawful sexual penetration, and more are considered felonies and result in serious consequences. Measure 11 law gives a minimum sentence for rape and sexual abuse of 75 months.
Considered a Class C felony in Oregon, promoting prostitution can result in a fine of up to $125,000. Specifically, promoting prostitution is when a person owns, controls, or supervises a place of prostitution. This felony crime can also incur a charge of up to five years in jail.
Kidnapping in the first degree is considered a Class A felony and a Class B felony if in the second degree. The definition of such an action is when a person or group of people take a person(s) against their will to an undisclosed location. It may be done for ransom or to further another crime. The term “custodial interference” is also often linked with kidnapping and refers to when a person takes an individual from another person’s lawful custody. Holding the victim as a hostage is a typical example of kidnapping in the first degree.
Felonies Against a Property
There are two different types of theft considered to be felonies in Oregon. The least severe is theft in the first degree, which is a Class C felony and the total value of the property stolen is $1,000 or more. It’s also a Class C felony when the theft occurs during a riot, when it’s the theft of a firearm or explosive, livestock, or of a precursor substance (something that can be used to manufacture synthetic drugs). The second kind of theft is called aggravated theft in the first degree, which is a Class B felony. This is when the total value of the property is over $10,000 or more.
Arson is a type of property crime that is considered either a Class C or Class A felony. The action itself is the intentional burning of any type of structure, whether that be building, land, or forest. If the crime results in any bodily injury, then it is considered Class A felony. Another difference between the two classes is whether the property burned was protected or not.
Recently, Oregon reduced the charge for possessing a small quantity of drugs to a misdemeanor charge for first-time offenders. However, delivery of controlled substances (DCS) and manufacturing controlled substances (MCS) are still considered felonies. Essentially, the delivery of any amount of heroin is a Class A felony, but the possession of a small amount can be considered a misdemeanor.
Statute of Limitations
Those were just a few of the many different types of felonies, but they showcase how varied crimes and their charges can be. That said, the state of Oregon has a limit on how prosecutors file a criminal charge. Oregon’s Statute of Limitations law imposes a time limit to take legal action and begins as soon as someone commits a crime.
Serious crimes like manslaughter, attempted murder, and murder have no time limits associated with them, but crimes like rape are different. Certain felony sexual offenses have six years after the crime, but if the victim at the time of the crime was under 18 years of age, then there’s a 12-year limitation after the offense is reported. Other felonies tend to have about three years before the Statute of Limitations is up.
Consequences of Felony Crimes
Felony charges have some of the most serious penalties that any type of crime can have. Substantial prison time and fines are just the beginning of the consequences. Felony charges have a major effect on your rights as a citizen of the United States. It can affect your ability to obtain a job, to find and acquire a home, and so much more.
Felony charges also stay on your record forever. According to Code for America, in the United States “1 in 3 people have a criminal record that appears on a routine background check. That means that 70 to 100 million people are left out of the workforce, unable to get student loans, housing, and face a host of other obstacles.” A criminal charge is detrimental to both your personal and professional life.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact a Clackamas County criminal defense attorney. Jared Justice and his team will work with you to find the best outcome possible for your case.