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Misdemeanor / Felony Charges

Criminal Defense

Misdemeanor / Felony Charges

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If you are charged with any crime in Tennessee it is important to immediately contact and attorney to advise you of the type of crime being alleged and the possible ramifications of a conviction, while also outlining your defense. Being convicted of a felony can have far more serious consequences than being convicted of a misdemeanor. However, both felonies and misdemeanors are serious charges that must not be taken lightly. Any criminal conviction results in a criminal record that can have repercussions in your life in many areas and for many years to come.

Classification of crimes in Tennessee

Chapter 39 of the Tennessee Code Annotated delineates the different types of crimes in Tennessee. Tennessee has felonies, misdemeanors, and capital crimes. Capital crimes are punishable by death or life imprisonment and include murder, arson, rape, and kidnapping.


Felony crimes and their maximum terms and fines are categorized as follows:

  • Class A felonies: Not more than 60 years in prison and up to $50,000 fine
  • Class B felonies: Not more than 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 fine
  • Class C felonies: Not more than 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine
  • Class D felonies: Not more than 12 years in prison and up to $5,000 fine
  • Class E felonies: Not more than six years in prison and up to $3,000 fine

Felonies are tried by a judge or a jury.


Tennessee misdemeanor carries the following maximum terms and fines:

  • Class A misdemeanors: Not more than 11 months, 29 days in prison and up to $2,500 fine
  • Class B misdemeanors: Not more than six months in jail and up to $500 fine
  • Class C misdemeanors: Not more than 30 days in jail and up to $50 fine

Misdemeanors can include simple possession, assault, shoplifting/theft under $500, vandalism, and trespassing.

Understanding the system is extremely confusing and is best done with the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. When the proof is overwhelming, an experienced criminal defense attorney often attempts to enter into a plea bargain arrangement with the prosecution to allow an accused to plead to a misdemeanor rather than a felony which carries more serious consequences.

If you have been arrested for any crime contact The Chiozza Law Firm for your free consultation. We will thoroughly discuss your matter in a confidential manner while providing you with all of your legal options.

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