Class A and Level One Felonies

Felonies classified as “Class A” or “Level One” are the most serious crimes, short of death penalty crimes. They incur long prison sentences and hefty fines.

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What is a Class A Felony?

Many states, plus the federal criminal code, categorize their felony crimes by degree of seriousness, from the most serious to the least. Some states use a “class” designation, such as A, B, C, and so on; others use “levels,” such as 1, 2, 3 and the like. Class A and level 1 felonies are the most serious, class B and level 2 are less so, and so on.

States group their felonies in order to assign punishment on an orderly basis. Every class or level has a set punishment or a range; and every statute that defines a crime specifies the class or level that the crime belongs in. For example, one state may specify that class A felonies are punished by up to 20 years in jail (plus a fine of up to $40,000); and the forgery statute may state that forgery of a certain type is a class A crime. To know the punishment for this forgery offense, you would need to refer to the statute that gives the punishment or range for all class A felonies.

Because each state has its own penal code and its own view of how much punishment a particular crime deserves, an offense that is a class A /level 1 felony in one state may be considered a class B/level 2 or another state.

Some states avoid the classification system altogether. These states set out the punishment for every crime in the statute that defines the offense itself.

For more information on felony classification systems, see Felony Classes: Charges and Penalties.

Penalties for felonies can range from one year to life in prison, depending on the crime charged, enhancements (time added to a base sentence), and any mitigating circumstances (time taken from a base sentence).

States That Have Class A or Level 1 Felonies

The following states have classified their felony crimes by class A, B, C, and so on; or levels 1, 2, 3, and so on. Accordingly, these states have Class A/level 1 felonies: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Consult the chart below to read more about each state’s classification system, including examples of Class A felonies and penalties.

State

Classification System

Alabama A, B, or C
Alaska A, B, or C
Arizona 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6
Arkansas Y, A, B, C, or D
California By crime
Colorado 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or unclassified
Connecticut A, B, C, or D; or unclassified (by crime); different sentencing laws apply for crimes committed before July 1, 1981
Delaware A, B, C, D, E, F, or G
D.C. By crime
Florida Capital or life felonies; or felonies of the first, second, or third degree
Georgia By crime
Hawaii A, B, or C; murder classed separately
Idaho By crime
Illinois X, 1, 2, 3, or 4; murder classed separately
Indiana A, B, C, or D
Iowa A, B, C, or D
Kansas Grid system
Kentucky A, B, C, or D
Louisiana By crime
Maine A, B, or C
Maryland By crime
Massachusetts By crime
Michigan A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or H
Minnesota By crime
Mississippi By crime
Missouri A, B, C, or D
Montana By crime
Nebraska Class I, IA, IB, IC, ID, II, III, IIIA, or IV
Nevada A, B, C, D, or E
New Hampshire A or B
New Jersey Indictable offenses: first, second, third or fourth degree
New Mexico Capital offenses, first, second, third, or fourth degree
New York A-I, A-II, B, C, D, or E
North Carolina A, B1, B2, C, D, E, F, G, H, or I
North Dakota AA, A, B, or C
Ohio First, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree
Oklahoma By crime
Oregon Unclassified (by crime), A, B, or C
Pennsylvania First, second, third degree or unclassified (by crime)
Rhode Island By crime
South Carolina A, B, C, D, E, or F
South Dakota Classes A, B,or C; and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6
Tennessee A, B, C, D, or E
Texas Capital felonies; first, second or third degree felonies; or state jail felonies
Utah Capital felonies; first, second or third degree felonies
Vermont By crime
Virginia 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or by crime
Washington A, B, or C
West Virginia By crime
Wisconsin A, B, C, D, E, F, G, or I
Wyoming By crime

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