Class B and Level Two Felonies

Less serious than Class A/Level One felonies, Class B/Level Two crimes nonetheless carry significant prison sentences and fines.

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All states and the federal criminal code distinguish between felony crimes (serious offenses) and misdemeanors (less serious). Some states use a classification system to further rank felonies (from severe to less so). For those states that use a letter classification system, they may include classes A (the most serious), B, C, and so on. Thus, a class B felony is a subset classification, and as the second in the list of felonies, it is always a very serious crime.

Other states may use the term "level" instead of "class."

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 B or level 2 felony in one state may be considered a class A/level 1 or class C/level 3 in another state.

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 and any mitigating circumstances. Several states also levy fines for class B felonies.

Class B Felony Sentencing Enhancements

The penalty for a class B or level 2 felony may depend on whether the accused has any prior convictions, and whether there are any special circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the charge. Situations that commonly trigger enhancements, which can increase penalties, include:

  • use of a deadly weapon
  • sex crimes involving children or any crime involving a vulnerable or elderly victim
  • gang crimes, and
  • hate crimes.

In a given state, for example, the penalty for a class B felony may be up to 60 years in prison; however, repeat offenders can face increased terms of up to two years if they have a prior felony conviction. Thus, having a class B felony on your record will increase the consequences in the event of future convictions. Many states now have "three strikes" laws, which further amplify the effects of multiple felony convictions.

States That Have Class B or Level 2 Felonies

The following states classify their felony crimes using an A, B, C or 1, 2, 3  (and so on) system: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Consult the chart below to read more about each state’s classification system, including examples of Class B 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

Collateral Consequences of a Class B Felony Conviction

A class B felony conviction may have more consequences beyond the initial sentence and fine. Because class B felonies are typically serious crimes, your ability to seal the record of conviction, sometimes also called expungement, is usually absent. (For more information on sealing a record, including state by state information, see Expungement or Sealing of Adult Criminal Records.)

Your ability to obtain employment may also be affected, because a felony conviction will show up on any pre-employment background check. Additionally, your right to vote and serve on a jury may be affected.

Help from a Lawyer

Because class B felony charges likely carry severe penalties affecting you freedom and future, seeking the assistance of a criminal defense attorney is advised. A lawyer will understand how best to manage a class B felony case and can offer advice on defenses as well as the potential for penalty reduction. 

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