What is a Class 3 Felony?

Virtually each state of any country categorizes crimes between misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are considered to be the more serious crimes and are punishable by serving at least a year in the prison and often much longer, depending on the type of felony committed. On the other hand, Misdemeanors are generally less serious crimes that are punishable by sentence that is less than a year to be served in a local facility. Felonies of this nature may only involve monetary fines and probation with no jail time at all. There are about six states- Colorado, Arizona, Nebraska, Illinois, Virginia and South Dakota- that have Class 3 Felonies. In Illinois, crimes contained in the Class 3 Felony category are considered to be among the least serious within the state as there are only four felony classes. However, in the rest of the states, a Class 3 Felony may be more serious because each of the other state has at least six total classes of felonies.



A Class 3 felony is also punishable by a minimum fine of $10,000 US Dollars (USD) and two to ten years of imprisonment. However, individual localities carry much stricter penalties for felony crimes, sometimes involving a charge of $100, 000 USD and up to five to twenty years of prison life. While some felonies will carry the maximum sentences, those limits may be reserved for violent crimes.

What do the Class 3 Felonies include?

Let’s take a look at what the Class 3 Felonies include:

  • Burglary- 1st Degree, Colorado.
  • Cultivation of four pounds or more of marijuana, Arizona.
  • Assault – 2nd Degree, Nebraska.
  • Battery, Illinois.
  • Aggravated Assault, South Dakota.
  • Malicious wounding, Virginia.

Minimum and Maximum sentences of Class 3 Felonies

Not surprisingly, the sentencing range for Class3 felonies is more serious in such states where there are a total six felony classes, including a sentence of four to twelve years in Colorado, up to fifteen years in South Dakota, a maximum of twenty years in Nebraska and around five to twenty years in Virginia. Illinois which consists of only four classes of felonies has a pre sentencing range of up to two to five years for Class 3 Felony.

Other Class 3 felonies convictions can, however, result from first time offenses which are more severe in nature such as arson, stalking, kidnapping or assault. These cases are typically taken on by grand jury and require a legal representation. If bail is skipped while the awaiting trial, an additional Class 3 Felony charge is added to the criminal’s conviction. A Class 3 Felony, which will be classified as a violent offense will then be subjected to the maximum number of penalties allowed by the law.

Criminal Attorney

It is of great importance that a person charged with Class 3 Felony has an experienced criminal attorney. In some states, it might be allowed to receive a community sentencing option, for example, a home incarceration if the crime does not include any kind of violence and you are a first offender.

For instance, in Arizona, probation is possible for the first offenders who have committed ‘no- dangerous’ felonies. However, judge may have the discretion to enhance the sentences for Class 3 felonies in aggravating circumstances. In most states, this includes a crime committed within the school zone, or a possession of a forearm while committing a felony and a crime committed to seek a gang membership. A crime of violence, in Colorado, will receive a more serious penalty than other crimes, up to twice the maximum pre- sentencing penalty. Enhanced penalties, in Illinois, will only be present due to a number of certain circumstances that includes a victim who is over the age of sixty, prior convictions and the commission of a hate crime.

Loss of Rights within the State

As soon as you will be coveted of a Class3 Felony, you will lose the following rights within your state:

  • Possession of a firearm with license.
  • Voting power – except in Illinois and Colorado.
  • Serve as a jury.
  • Hold some occupations, such as an accountant and lawyer that may require a federal or state license.
  • Quality to run for the state office.
  • The lateral consequences of a Class 3 felony can be quite life-altering, warning a person as to why he or she should not commit any kind of crime, serious or less serious. In most states, even the commission of any type of felony results in the loss of the right to vote, run for state office, posses a firearm for protection and receive a permit for license necessary jobs, including many health care fields. While Colorado and Illinois, do not technically exclude felons from jury service, but then again it is very unlikely to choose someone with a criminal record to be chosen as a jury. While in some states such as Arizona, the loss of rights are automatically restored when the sentence is completed. However, many civil rights may only be restored with a pardon or an expungement from the governor.

    Housing and Employment difficulties faced by a Class 3 Felony Record

    Aside from potential jail tie and financial consequences, there are many other lasting effects of committing a felony of Class 3. Class 3 felonies tend to become a permanent part of the offenders’ criminal record, often hindering future housing and employment opportunities. These offenses can also deprive the person of the right to keep arms and the right to vote. Even after the payment of the fines and serving of the applicable prison time, the felon will still be subjected to a parole period in which he or she will be closely monitored by the legal authorities to ensure legal compliance. If any further infractions are committed by the felon during his parole period, additional fines and jail time will be enforced.



    Felons throughout a country have quite a lot of difficulty in finding employment and housing after being released from the prison. The main issue is that the potential landlords and employers have the right to check criminal histories of the buyers and the employees. May states also have re-entry programs that provide incentives to many employers to people witch pass Class 3 felony record such as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit in Nebraska. Experts have recommended checking with local charitable group s and state agencies for names of landlords and employers known to work with felons.

    Clearing your Felony Record

    There may be usually two to three options on how to restore some or all of the lost civil rights of Class 3 Felony convictions. Expungement is a type of a process in which the record of a criminal conviction is actually completely removed by the governor. The option is more common among misdemeanors and is almost never an option for crime of violence or rape. Some stats consists of set- aside laws. Setting aside a conviction includes the proving to the court to forgive the offender of Class 3 Felony or any other. However, set aside laws do not remove the details of the crime committed from the criminal record.

    Receiving a pardon from the government is perhaps one of the most common ways for someone guilty of a felony to clear his or her record. In some cases, a significant waiting period may be required, such as a waiting period of ten years is required in Nebraska. A criminal attorney at this time can help you submit an application that will highlight the ways in which you have become a better person and compelling reasons for the pardon.

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