Massachusetts Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences

A felony in Massachusetts is a crime that is punishable by a term of one year or more in the state prison or by death. Massachusetts does not classify felony crimes into different classes; instead, each criminal statute includes the possible penalties for each individual felony. For some felony crimes, the statutes provide alternative sentences—a term in state prison or a shorter term in a house of corrections or a county jail.

For information on misdemeanors, see Massachusetts Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.

Felonies in Massachusetts range from murder—the most serious felony crime in the state—to rape, assault, robbery, embezzlement, and food stamp trafficking— less serious felonies. Some specific examples of felonies and the possible penalties are as follows:

  • First degree murder – life in prison or the death penalty.
  • Manslaughter – up to 20 years in prison or a fine up to $1,000 and up to 2