Massachusetts Felony

Felonies are often defined as crimes that are the most serious and are more grave than misdemeanors. Felony charges usually offer a prison sentence of at least one year. This amount of time depends on severity of the crime.

Felonies in Massachusetts include rape, fraud, racketeering, burglary, assault and battery, grand theft, aggravated assault, illegal drug use and possession, embezzlement, kidnapping, murder, robbery, and arson.

Felony Punishments
Felony punishments vary and depend on the jurisdiction and the crimes' severities. Having a prior conviction of any kind on a record can escalate a sentence. Punishments are not limited to but can include large fines, probation, incarceration, loss of voting rights, exclusion from certain lines of work, and loss of certain rights such as the right to possess a firearm. Individuals may be charged and give more than one punishment. For instance a sentencing of the loss of the right to possess a firearm may follow the sentencing of five years in prison.

First Degree Murder
Murder in the first degree is at the top of the felony classifications and will carry the highest possible sentence as punishment. As the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not have the death penalty, the maximum punishment that can be received is life in prison without parole. With this bail is normally denied at an arraignment in the case of first degree murder. Homicide situations are not limited to cases of first degree murder. Homicide charges also include involuntary manslaughter, self defense, murder in the second degree, and voluntary manslaughter.

Sexual Crimes and Assault and Battery Charges
Sexually based crimes are also most often punishable by incarceration or a fine of thousands of dollars and can include indecent exposure, child pornography, indecent assault and battery, lewd conduct, statutory rape, and dissemination of child pornography. Whether a sex crime is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the crime's severity.

This is the same for charges of assault and battery. The severity of the crime depicts whether there is a charge of misdemeanor or felony. There are different forms of assault and battery and can include assault and battery upon a child, aggravated assault and battery, with a deadly weapon, with intent to commit a felony, with intent to rob or murder, and indecent assault and battery.

Massachusetts Expungement
Expungement in Massachusetts is also called record sealing. Individuals may request that a criminal record be sealed under certain conditions. Delinquency files or records can also be requested for sealing. This can mean a limited disclosure of the file contents to only law enforcement authorities and no longer the general public.

Expungement of criminal history records is also possible where the files are actually removed from a past record. Certain felony records are able to be expunged along with misdemeanor charges. Consulting a criminal defense attorney is often advised as he or she will be able to determine if a past conviction is able to be sealed or expunged and can assist in properly carrying out the expungement process.

See also:
Massachusetts Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Massachusetts Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Massachusetts Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)