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Felony & Misdemeanor Offenses

What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

All crimes in South Carolina will either be handled in either the Court of General Sessions or in the lower Court such as the Magistrate’s Court or Municipal Court depending on the charge. The procedures vary depending on what the charge is and the Court that has jurisdiction to hear the case. All cases in which the Court of General Sessions has jurisdiction will have a Solicitor assigned to the case to prosecute the charge on behalf of the State. Some cases in Magistrate’s Court will also have a Solicitor assigned to prosecute the case on behalf of the State. Other cases will be prosecuted by the arresting officer.

Most Municipal Courts have a Prosecutor to handle cases before the Court. Having an attorney to advocate on your behalf is always beneficial to the outcome of your case. Call the Law Office of Roger Johnson to discuss the options available to you concerning your case. Some criminal offenses have mandatory minimum sentences that upon conviction must be served. Having an attorney representing you can sometimes result in having the charges reduced to a lesser charge that does not carry a mandatory minimum prison sentence. As with all offenses the outcome determines as to whether you must serve time in prison or you could receive a probationary sentence or even be eligible for one of the Diversion Programs available in South Carolina or ultimately you could have your charges dismissed or you could be acquitted (found innocent).

Felony and misdemeanor are legal terms describing the seriousness of a crime.

A felony is a very serious crime. Felonies generally carry long prison sentences of a year or more. Examples of a felony are Murder, Burglary, Drug Trafficking, and Criminal Sexual Conduct.

A misdemeanor is a less serious crime. Misdemeanors carry shorter prison sentences. Examples of misdemeanor crimes include simple possession of marijuana, simple assault and battery, and tampering with an electric meter.


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