How Many Misdemeanors Equal A Felony? (Broken Down By State)

How Many Misdemeanors Equal A Felony - Whats The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony

How many misdemeanors equal a felony?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • how many misdemeanors is a felony
  • each state’s number of misdemeanors that turn into a felony
  • each state’s time frame that this happens in
  • scenarios where a misdemeanor turns into a felony
  • the differences between misdemeanors and felonies

Let’s dig in. 

Table of Contents

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How Many Misdemeanors Equal A Felony?

The average number of misdemeanors to get a felony is 2.6 misdemeanors. 

You’ll get a felony if you have a certain number of misdemeanors in a certain time frame. 

For example, in Texas, getting 3 misdemeanors in 10 years gets you a felony.

Here are some key points about how many misdemeanors equal a felony:

  • the minimum number of misdemeanors to get a felony is 2
  • the maximum number of misdemeanors to get a felony is 3
  • the shortest time frame is 2 years 
  • the longest time frame is 10 years
  • the most common number of misdemeanors to get a felony is 2 (33 states)
  • the most common time frame is 5 years (32 states)
State Misdemeanors Required Time Frame
Alabama 2 2 years
Alaska 3 5 years
Arizona 2 2 years
Arkansas 21.5 years
California 3 5 years
Colorado 21.5 years
Connecticut 2 5 years
Delaware 3 3 years
Florida 21 year
Georgia 3 5 years
Hawaii 3 5 years
Idaho 2 5 years
Illinois 31.5 years
Indiana 2 2 years
Iowa 2 5 years
Kansas 2 5 years
Kentucky 2 5 years
Louisiana 2 5 years
Maine 2 5 years
Maryland 2 5 years
Massachusetts 2 5 years
Michigan 2 5 years
Minnesota 2 5 years
Mississippi 3 5 years
Missouri 2 5 years
Montana 2 5 years
Nebraska 2 5 years
Nevada 3 5 years
New Hampshire 2 5 years
New Jersey 2 5 years
New Mexico 3 5 years
New York 2 5 years
North Carolina 2 5 years
North Dakota 2 5 years
Ohio 22 years
Oklahoma 3 5 years
Oregon 2 5 years
Pennsylvania 2 5 years
Rhode Island 3 5 years
South Carolina 3 5 years
South Dakota 2 5 years
Tennessee 2 5 years
Texas 3 10 years
Utah 3 5 years
Vermont 2 5 years
Virginia 2 5 years
Washington 3 5 years
West Virginia 2 5 years
Wisconsin 3 5 years
Wyoming 3 5 years

Can A Misdemeanor Turn Into A Felony?

When can a misdemeanor turn into a felony? 

Here are some examples of how a misdemeanor can turn into a felony:

  • Repeat Offenses. Let’s say a person has committed the same misdemeanor offense multiple times. It can be considered a felony. For example, in some states, a third conviction for (DUI) can result in a felony charge.
  • Aggravated Misdemeanors. There are laws that classify certain types of misdemeanors as “aggravated misdemeanors” or “gross misdemeanors.” These are based on the seriousness of the offense. These can get punished more severely than regular misdemeanors. And they may get considered felonies under certain circumstances. I.e., assault and battery can be considered a felony if it involves serious bodily injury or if the victim is a law enforcement officer.
  • Crimes Against Property. Some states consider certain types of property crimes to be felonies, even if they are technically misdemeanors. For example, theft of property worth over a certain dollar amount may be considered a felony. This is regardless of whether it is a first-time offense or a repeat offense.
  • Drug Crimes. Possession of certain drugs, such as heroin or cocaine, can get classified as a felony. This is true even if it is a first-time offense. Repeat offenses of drug possession or distribution can also result in felony charges.

What’s The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?

Let’s look at the main differences between a misdemeanor and a felony charge. 

What Is A Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a type of criminal offense that is less serious than a felony. 

Misdemeanors are punishable by:

The severity of your misdemeanor charges depends on:

Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies. 

This is because they usually involve non-violent crimes, like:

They may also get classified based on the number of damages or losses caused. 

These are things like property damage or unpaid debts. 

Misdemeanors may:

  • not result in a permanent criminal record
  • get expunged or sealed from a person’s record

Note that misdemeanors can still have serious legal and social consequences. 

This includes difficulty finding:

What Is A Felony?

A felony is a type of criminal offense that is more serious than a misdemeanor. 

Felonies are punishable by imprisonment for one year up to life in prison. 

The severity of your felony charges depends on:

  • the jurisdiction 
  • the severity of the crime

Felony charges often involve violent crimes, such as:

They may also include non-violent crimes. 

Normally these would be involving significant amounts of money or drugs, like:

  • fraud
  • embezzlement
  • drug trafficking

A conviction for a felony can have severe and long-lasting consequences. 

These include the loss of:

A felony conviction can also result in a permanent criminal record. 

This can make it difficult to find employment, housing, or financial aid.

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