Kentucky designates serious crimes as capital offenses or Class A, B, C or D felonies. These designations are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses, and they can easily lead to long prison terms if you do not navigate the system well. The following is a list of capital offenses and felony classes in Lexington, KY that determine the seriousness of a crime and possible sentencing:
- Capital offenses: There are two offenses that fall under this category. They include murder and kidnapping that ends with the death of a victim. These are the only offenses that can end in a death penalty sentence. Other possible punishments include 25 years to life in prison, life without parole or a prison term ranging from 20 to 50 years. The sentencing phase after a guilty verdict determines the punishment by weighing crime circumstances, the offender’s mental status and the impacts on the victim’s survivors.
- Class A felonies: This category is reserved for serious crimes that do not fall under the banner of capital offenses. They are punished by 20 to 50 years in prison or a life imprisonment sentence. An example of a Class A felony is rape of a child, which is also first-degree rape. Other offenses include armed robbery, grand larceny and malicious wounding. While murder is better known as a capital offense, it is sometimes pursued as a Class A felony because circumstances may warrant a life sentence but not the death penalty.
- Class B felonies: Class B felonies are punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. First-degree assault is a Class B felony, along with manslaughter in the first degree, sodomy and rape. Most of the crimes in this category involve negligent murder or sexual offenses.
- Class C felonies: Punishable by five to 10 years in prison, these felonies usually involve property. Larceny involving property valued above $10,000 but no more than $1 million is a Class C felony. Other Class C felonies include manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree, unauthorized use of a credit card in an amount exceeding $10,000 and trafficking in controlled substances. Cybercrimes, including unlawful and unauthorized access to a computer or network system, often fall under Class C as well.
- Class D felonies: Those convicted of Class D felonies face one to five years in prison. This class includes unauthorized use of a credit card between the amount of $500 and $1,000, stalking, drug possession and endangerment in the first degree. Cultivating five or more marijuana plants is also a Class D felony. If you commit several misdemeanors, the next crime may be classified as a Class D felony (e.g. four DUIs leads to the fifth being upgraded to felony status).
If you committed any crimes on this list of felony classes and capital offenses in Lexington, KY, you need to hire skilled legal defense counsel immediately. Oakley & Oakley LLC represents defendants accused of felonies or misdemeanors. Time is of the essence when it comes to criminal defense, so contact our office as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.