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What are the different classes of a felony?

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Felonies are classified by numerals, such as 1st degree or class 2, or by ascending letter systems, states Avvo. Washington state, for example, has three classes of felonies: Class A, Class B and Class C. Class A felonies are punishable by life in prison and $50,000 fines, as of 2015.

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Felony convictions vary in the length of punishment and statue of limitations, explains Avvo. The majority of federal and state regulations indicate that a felony is a crime with a minimum sentence of more than one year, with death as an option for the most detrimental crimes, typically murder. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors and infractions. Punishment is based on the seriousness of the crime and on an "offender score."

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