What is a Class D Felony?

N. Madison
N. Madison

In many places, there are two categories of criminal acts: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are typically the most serious crimes and carry the stiffest penalties, while misdemeanors are usually less serious and carry lighter penalties. A Class D felony is a crime that is considered very serious, but falls on the lower scale of the crimes in this category. A person who is convicted of such a crime has been found guilty of committing a serious crime, but he may not spend as much time in prison or face as many other penalties as he would if he were convicted of another type of felony.

Check fraud may be considered a Class D felony.
Check fraud may be considered a Class D felony.

The crimes that may count as Class D felonies depend on the jurisdiction in which the crime is committed. In some places, unlawful surveillance falls in this class, as does criminal possession of a weapon and giving a false report of an incident to police. Fraud, felony drunk driving, and certain types of theft may be included as well. Additionally, some crimes involving sexual performances by minors may fall into this category.

Individuals who have committed a Class D felony will face arrest.
Individuals who have committed a Class D felony will face arrest.

Penalties for such felonies typically depend on the jurisdiction in which a person is convicted of a crime. In many places, however, the minimum sentence a person can be given for committing a crime of this class is two years and the maximum is seven years imprisonment. A fine may be part of the penalty, and it's often between about $500 US Dollars (USD) and about $7,500 USD. Sometimes, the fine is set at twice the amount of the criminal's financial gain from the crime, however.

Anyone accused of automobile theft who threatened or harmed the vehicle's owner or passengers will nearly always face felony charges.
Anyone accused of automobile theft who threatened or harmed the vehicle's owner or passengers will nearly always face felony charges.

While many regions have minimum and maximum sentences a person may serve after being convicted of a Class D felony, there are some enhancements that may lead to longer sentences or stiffer penalties. For example, a person who is convicted of committing a domestic violence offense in this class may face additional time in prison. The same is true of a person who has prior felony convictions on his record. In many jurisdictions, a persistently violent criminal is also likely to face tougher sentencing.

Felony drunk driving may be classified as a Class D felony.
Felony drunk driving may be classified as a Class D felony.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


My brother's girlfriend stole my Facebook password and my Yahoo email password. When I called the police department, they told me that this was a class d felony and she could face prison time. She is the mother of my twin niece and nephew. I don't know what to do.


I was assaulted one night and stole a bus to get to the destination that I needed to get to and only drove it about five miles at 4 a.m. and that's all I did with the bus and I am being charged with a class D felony. Now I am trying to go into forensics to be a criminal examiner. Is this going to stop my career??


I was wrongly charged with a class D felony for retail theft by deception instead of being charged for a class A misdemeanor in Kentucky. The retailer double counted the dollar amount in cash I was given for a return and then counted the dollar amount for the items I also returned, that they claim was not their merchandise and was return theft.

If I gave them the amount of cash they gave m back for the return, I would have essentially bought the items -- again. They can't originally charge me with double the amount, even though if the fines could be doubled, I understand. How can I get this charge lowered to the misdemeanor that it should have been and prove that the store added the erroneously stolen amount twice?


Two days ago, my son's girlfriend's daughter, who is 12, spent the night out with a 21 year old. My son, who just turned 20, found the pervert and beat him up.

The mother, who is 34 years old, let her daughter give a statement at the police station, in which she denied spending the night at the 21 year-old's home and claimed she slept on the beach. The 21-year-old, on the other hand, gave a statement saying she did, but nothing happened.

My son was arrested for second degree assault. His bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond. My son got into some trouble when he was younger and had a sealed record, which is not sealed anymore. I can't afford a lawyer and it doesn't seem as though the court appointed lawyer has his best interest at heart. Can someone please respond to this post?

I need to help my son. I can admit he went about things wrongly, but he had the child's best interest at heart. Nothing happened to the 21 year old. He's still free.


I was charged with felony theft of 160 dollars in Indiana, but the catch is the family dropped charges and the state picked them up. Restitution was paid back two after i was released on O.R.


Suntan12-I know that in Wisconsin class D felony charges in vehicular homicide carry a maximum sentence of 25 years and additional fines of $100,000.

Felony class D cases can also involve battery and domestic violence. Class D felony theft is also problematic and it relates to the dollar amount stolen. Many times these cases involve employee theft especially with respect to retail companies.


Sunny27- A class B felony would result in a maximum sentence of 60 years in Wisconsin and these crimes would range from second degree murder, sexual assault, and kidnapping.

A class c felony has a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and it is usually for crimes that involve felony drunk driving of the fifth occurrence, arson, felony theft, and vehicular homicide in which you kill someone while driving drunk.

The real difference between a class A misdemeanor and a felony is the jail time. Felonies are more serious crimes that result in certain incarceration, while misdemeanors usually don’t.


A class D felony sentence contains incarceration and fines. For example, if you are charged with felony DUI this usually means that either as a result of your drunk driving you injured or killed another person, or you have had previous DUI charges.

These charges are considered a felony class D in most states. The felony charges range in degree and are noted by the letter in its title. For example, a class A felony is the most egregious crime that is usually punishable by life in prison. In the state of Wisconsin, someone facing a class A felony can receive life in prison and usually the crimes that fall into this category are premeditated murder.

In many jurisdictions a conviction of a class A felony like this would result in the death penalty, but Wisconsin does not have a death penalty statue.

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