A felony is a crime for which the potential jail or prison sentence exceeds one year. A misdemeanor is a crime that results in a jail term of less than one year, but more than 15 days. A third type of offense, called a violation, is not considered a crime and carries a maximum potential sentence of 15 days. New York law creates several classes of felonies and misdemeanors with varying prison sentences.
Those who are incarcerated for misdemeanors are usually sent to jails, which are operated by counties and cities and have lower security levels than prisons. Those convicted of felonies are usually incarcerated in prisons, which are operated by states and the federal government.
Convicted felons may lose their rights to vote, to own firearms, to seek professional licenses, and to hold public office.
If you have the ability to hire an attorney, that attorney should be there at the arraignment, without a doubt.
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