The Differences Between A Felony and a Misdemeanor in New York

felony misdemeanor new york

If you face criminal charges, please read on, then contact an experienced Nassau County criminal defense attorney to learn the differences between a felony and a misdemeanor in New York.

How do a felony and a misdemeanor differ in New York?

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is enormous, especially in terms of penalties. Though troublesome to future prospects in terms of employment, housing, government subsidies and other fields, a misdemeanor conviction, as befitting a minor crime, carries less severe consequences than one for a felony. Rarely, if ever, do misdemeanors result in a year or more of jail time or a fine in excess of $1,000 or double the amount the defendant gained from the commission of his or her crime. On the other hand, a conviction for a felony will earn you at least a year behind bars or a significant period of probation as well as substantial fines. You could spend decades, even the rest of your life, in prison if you sustain a conviction for certain felonies. Likewise, the fines could run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

As a convicted felon, you will lose the following rights:

  • The right to vote
  • The right to purchase or own firearms
  • Your eligibility for welfare
  • Your eligibility for federally funded housing
  • The right to sit on a jury
  • Certain professional and/or operator licenses

Examples of felony and misdemeanor charges in New York


  • Prostitution
  • Petty theft
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Drug possession
  • Simple assault
  • Trespassing
  • Public intoxication
  • Vandalism
  • Animal crimes (dog bites)


  • Murder
  • Arson
  • Terrorism
  • Criminal possession of a chemical weapon
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • Kidnapping
  • Operating as a major trafficker

No criminal proceeding is a laughing matter, regardless of how minor the crime is perceived to be. If you face any sort of criminal charges, you should reach out to Jacob A. Rudman, Esq. to discuss your next steps.

How can a Nassau County criminal defense attorney help you?

Frankly, only a fool represents him- or herself. The Empire State may not have the death penalty, but a conviction can cost you the rest of your life. That is why it is important you retain the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney who will give your case the consideration and dedication it deserves. He or she will help uncover and present mitigating or exculpatory evidence that could lead to a reduction or outright dismissal of your charges. You can’t face this on your own, so please give us a call today.


Whether you need a Nassau County Criminal Defense Lawyer or traffic ticket attorney, The Law Office of Jacob A. Rudman is here to help. Our firm has significant experience representing clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including DUIs, drug crimes, domestic violence, assault, juvenile crimes, and more. If you have been issued a traffic ticket, it is important to contact us today. We zealously represent clients facing tickets for speeding, reckless driving, driving without a license, and those caught using a mobile device. Contact us today to schedule your first consultation with our trusted legal team.

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