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A felony is a serious crime.  Usually, a felony is defined as a crime punishable by more than one year in prison.  Less serious crimes are usually called misdemeanors. Murder, arson, and bribery of an elected official are felonies. Public drunkenness and petty theft are misdemeanors.

Pronunciation: FEH-luh-nee

Sample Sentences

  1. The defendant was convicted of murder, a felony, and the judge sentenced him to life in prison.
  2. As a result of a plea agreement, the prosecutor charged the defendant with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.


Felon (pronounced “FEH-lun”) – a person who has been convicted of a felony.

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