Felony Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Felony, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Felony?

n. 1) A crime that is deemed serious enough to result in punishment by death or sentencing to a term in state or federal prison. Misdemeanors are only punishable by a term in county or local jail and/or fine. 2) Any crime that carries a minimum term of more than one year in state prison because a shorter term can be served in county jail. Also referred to a “high crimes,” felony convictions may be for less than a year if the judge decides to lower the sentence.