Class B and Level Two Felonies

Felonies classified as Class B, Class 2, or Level 2 tend to be among the more serious felonies in a state.

By , Attorney · Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Updated November 28, 2022

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 Class A, B, and C or Classes 1 to 5. Others classify by "levels," such as Level 1, 2, 3, and the like.

This article will discuss common Class B, Class 2, and Level 2 felony crimes and penalties. Depending on the number of classifications a state uses, this offense level tends to represent serious to mid-level felony crimes.

What Is a Class B Felony?

In states that categorize by class or level, Class A or 1 and Level 1 felony designations generally represent the most serious offenses. Class B, Class 2, and Level 2 are the next most serious, and so on. A few states have separate designations for capital or life felonies, such as premeditated murder.

States group their felonies in order to assign a punishment that corresponds to offense severity. Every class or level has a set punishment or a range, and every statute that defines a crime specifies the class or level that applies to that crime. For example, a state may specify that Class B felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. In the state's criminal code, certain crimes would specify their penalty as a Class B felony, such as "A person who commits first-degree arson is guilty of a Class B felony."

What Are the Penalties for Class B Felonies?

Because each state has its own penal code and its own view of how much punishment a particular crime deserves, the penalty for a Class B, Class 2, or Level 2 felony will vary—as will the crimes that carry this punishment.

As noted above, the severity of the penalties for a Class B, Class 2, or Level 2 felony often depends on the number of classifications a state uses. If a state has only three felony classifications, Class B or 2 would represent mid-level felonies. However, states that divide felonies into five or more classifications generally consider Class B or 2 felonies to be one of the more serious felony levels.

To complicate matters further, the actual penalty handed down will depend on a variety of factors. Judges often have a lot of flexibility in sentencing and can generally order any sentence up to the maximum permitted by law. An offender who has a lengthy felony rap sheet or uses a weapon will typically receive a sentence that's close to the maximum allowed, whereas a first-time offender might receive a much lower sentence. Other factors that judges consider in handing out sentences include the circumstances of the crime, the victim, and the defendant's background and remorsefulness.

Examples of Class B Felony Crimes and Penalties

Below are a few examples of Class B, Class 2, and Level 2 felony crimes and possible sentences.

Arizona. Arizona has six felony classes. The penalty for a class 2 felony in Arizona depends on the offender's criminal history, the severity of the crime, and the circumstances of the crime, among other factors. For a first-time offender (with no aggravating factors), the general sentencing range for a class 2 felony is 4 to 10 years. However, dangerous and repetitive offenders can receive sentences upwards of 21 or 35 years. Kidnapping and sex trafficking are examples of class 2 felonies.

Iowa. Class B felonies in Iowa carry up to 25 years in prison. It's one of four felony classes in the state. First-degree robbery and second-degree murder are examples of class B felonies.

New York. Five felony classes exist in New York. The maximum sentence for a class B felony in New York is 25 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. New York increases this maximum term for certain violent felonies, drug crimes, and sex crimes. First-degree assault and criminal use of a firearm are class B felonies.

Nevada. Nevada divides felonies into five categories. Category B felonies are crimes that statute specifies can be punished by no more than 20 years in prison. However, the law can set a lower maximum term. For instance, voluntary manslaughter and mayhem are category B felonies that carry a maximum 10-year sentence. Battery with intent to kill is a category B felony with a 20-year maximum.

Virginia. A class 2 felony in Virginia carries 20 years to life imprisonment. First-degree murder, abduction to extort money, and use of a machine gun for a crime of violence are all class 2 felonies.

States That Have Class B or Level 2 Felonies

Consult the chart below to read more about each state's classification system. For more information on a particular state's felony crimes and penalties, talk to a criminal defense attorney in your area.


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 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6
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, D, or E
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-, or 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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