What Is a Felony 5 Charge?

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A felony is a serious criminal offense. Felonies are categorized according to the level of severity of the crime. The level of the felony is used to determine the punishment a violator should receive if convicted. Depending on the nature of the crime, a felony charge can be heard in a state or federal court of law.


The "5" in felony 5 defines the degree of seriousness of the crime that was committed. A felony 5 charge carries potential jail time but is much less serious than a felony 1, which is reserved for the most serious crimes. Some jurisdictions use "degrees" rather than "levels" to rank the seriousness of felonies, i.e., fifth degree felony or first degree felony.

Types of Crimes

Small drug offenses, petty theft, fraud and other menacing crimes are typical felony 5 crimes.

Time Frame

The prison or jail sentence for a felony 5 conviction depends on the state in which the offense occurred. Typically, a person could face imprisonment for one to two years for a felony 5 conviction.


It is a misconception that being charged with a felony 5 results in an automatic prison term. Judges usually have the option to hand down a sentence of probation, counseling or community service.


A person convicted of a felony 5 charge can be ordered to pay a fine in addition to serving jail time.


About the Author

Mona Johnson is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in communications. She began writing in 2001 and producing literary works in 2003 for T.A.D.D. Writes Publications. Johnson has experience with writing articles and blogs geared towards facts, keywords, fashion and other subjects.

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