When you are charged with a crime in Tennessee, the crime is categorized as either a felony or a misdemeanor. From there, it is assigned a class. There are three classes of misdemeanors and five classifications of felony charges. There is a separate class for capital crimes.
What are the classes of misdemeanors?
Class A, B and C misdemeanors are the three classes. Class A is the most serious class. It carries a possible jail term of up to 11 months and 29 days in jail. A Class B misdemeanor carries up to six months in jail. A Class A misdemeanor carries up to 30 days in jail.
What are the classes of felonies?
Class A, B, C, D and E are the different classes of felonies. Class A is the most serious and carries a prison sentence of 15 to 60 years. Class B carries eight to 30 years in prison. Class C carries three to 15 years in prison. Class D carries two to 12 years in prison. Class E carries one to six years in prison.
What is the penalty for a capital crime?
A capital crime is one that is punishable by a prison sentence of life. It is also punishable by death.
When you consider the fact that all of these classes of felonies and misdemeanors have the possibility of incarceration, it is easy to realize that you need to get started on your defense. Getting started as early as possible with the defense will allow you as much time as possible to prepare.
Source: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, "An Overview of Criminal Offenses under Tennessee Law," John M. Scheb II, accessed Dec. 22, 2015