What Is A Class D Felony?

Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team

In many jurisdictions, criminal activities are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. Felonies are normally the most serious offenses with the worst penalties, but misdemeanors are typically less serious with smaller fines.

A Class D felony is an extremely serious offense that lies on the lower end of the scale of offenses in this classification. An individual who is convicted of a class D felony might not spend as long in a jail cell or encounter as many punishments as they would if he had been charged with a different class of crime.

The crimes that can be classified as Class D felonies are determined by the jurisdiction wherein the offense is committed. In certain jurisdictions, unauthorized monitoring is included in this category, as is unlawful ownership of a firearm and creating a false allegation of an incident to authorities. Fraud, misdemeanor driving under the influence, and some types of larceny may also be covered. Furthermore, some offenses involving juveniles performing sexual acts may fall within this category.

Punishment for such offenses is normally determined by the county in which a defendant is charged. Yet, in several countries, the minimum term for committing a felony of this type is 2 years behind bars and the longest is 7 years. A penalty may be imposed as part of the sentence, and it is usually somewhere between $500 and $7,000. Nevertheless, the fee is often imposed at twice the amount of the convict’s monetary benefit from the act.

How Classification Works

A considerable majority of states categorize felony offenses alphabetically. This classification scheme is used to guarantee that the punishments imposed for felonies are uniform. The divisions are often classified as Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D.

District by district, the sorts of felony offenses covered in each category, the number of groups and classes, and the punishment standards differ. The alphabetically arranged classification system is used by jurisdictions such as Alabama and Alaska. Certain states categorize felonies using a numerical class structure. Among these classes are: Classifications are divided into Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, and Class 4.

Arizona and Colorado are two states that use this classification scheme. Also, there are counties that do not employ categories as described above and instead rely on a combination category and grade structure. Rather than categories of felony offenses, national criminal statutes have about 43 levels of felony offenses.

Class A offenses are the most violent and dangerous offenses throughout most states that employ the numerical classification scheme. Prosecutions for these offenses result in some of the harshest penalties. A Class D misdemeanor, on the other hand, while still categorized as a crime, is the least severe and is deemed insignificant when compared with other types of offenses. This category of crime often comprises non-violent or relatively harmless crimes that do not entail physical violence against another person.

What Crimes Are Categorized As Class D?

As explained below, all criminal accusations are severe and can result in life-long repercussions and the removal of rights. Throughout many regions, Class D crimes are considered to be the least severe. Nevertheless, certain jurisdictions do not even have a Class D crime categorization. In other places, a criminal offense may be referred to as “unclassified,” which implies that the sentence for that offense is incorporated into the statute establishing the felony crime since the felony may not be as significant and/or doesn’t really fall into the current categories.

A felony in Class D is far more severe than a misdemeanor in Class D. Class D offenses often carry a prison sentence of fewer than 30 days and a penalty of less than $200. Misdemeanor sentencing does not result in the same removal of rights as criminal punishments.

Some examples of Class D felonies include:

  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Avoiding capture
  • Domestic abuse
  • Human trafficking
  • Possession of certain controlled substances
  • Auto theft
  • Petty theft
  • DUI
  • Bank check fraud
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated assault
  • Arson
  • Forgery
  • Prostitution
  • Larceny
  • Firearms and weapons violations
  • Sentencing for Class D felonies

If convicted of a Class D felony, the penalty varies based on the area and the crime committed. In most circumstances, sentences will begin with:

  • Prison time
  • Court fines
  • Community service
  • Court-ordered drug testing
  • No-contact orders
  • Restraining orders
  • Driving suspensions
  • Probation
  • Tag location monitoring

There could be instances where a judge has control over the punishment issued. When sentencing, the judge may take into account the defendant’s criminal past, present parole status, and the risk that the subject would re-offend. Serial offenders are more likely to encounter tougher sanctions than first-time offenders. This might include further prison time and costs.

While Class D is the least severe of the criminal offenses, because it is a crime, a sentence will stay on a person’s record indefinitely unless it is purged. If a search warrant or background check is required, this may have an influence on your ability to find work, attend school, or acquire a place to live.

How Could A Class D Conviction Affect My Life?

As previously stated, a felony charge can have long-term ramifications that extend beyond an individual’s criminal background. Convictions for felonies might have a negative influence on other rights. These could include:

Losing your right to vote
Prohibited from jury service
Loss of child custody
Loss of child visitation rights
Not being eligible for welfare and food stamps
Not being eligible for student loans
Weapons restrictions

Common Defenses To A Class D Conviction

There could be defenses to a class D felony conviction. These will vary depending on the person accused and the sort of offense. Lack of intent, evidence, and lack of understanding are common defenses to Class D offenses.

With the exception of felony driving while under the influence, a lack of criminal motivation is a typical defense to felony accusations. In this defense, a defendant claims they were unaware of their acts and/or lacked the mental capacity to develop intent due to alcohol or mental incapacity. This defense is commonly used in bank and check fraud charges, when the accused may say that they did not mean to steal the monies, but rather to borrow them.

If the accused did not mean to cause a fire, the lack of intent defense can also be used in arson prosecutions. Likewise, in stalking instances where the offender didn’t even mean to fear or threaten the person, it could be used. A lack of understanding argument can be used to defend against forgery, burglary, and car theft accusations. The accused may claim they have authority to enter a location, use another person’s name or forms of identification, and/or drive someone else’s vehicle.