Misdemeanor vs. Felony

Drug Charges - Juvenile Law - Vehicular Homicide - Drunk Driving

Iowa's tiered level penalties for criminal offenses is common among many states. Iowa classifies crimes into felony and misdemeanor offenses and by their severity. More severe crimes, such as vehicular homicide are felony offenses. Less severe crimes, such as a first offense drunk driving charge is a misdemeanor.

While some criminal charges carry mandatory minimum or maximum punishments, generally speaking the offense classifications and corresponding sentencing ranges are listed below for misdemeanors (click here - felony offenses). 

Misdemeanor Penalties

Aggravated Misdemeanor  
  • 2 years imprisonment or up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $625 to $6,250
Serious Misdemeanor  
  • Up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $315 to $1,875
Simple Misdemeanor  
  • 30 days in jail and a fine of $65 to $625

Felonary Charges - Drug Charges - Vehicular Homicide - Felony Drunk Driving

The state of Iowa has a tiered level of criminal offenses. The same is true of most other state's criminal code. In Iowa,criminal penalties are classified into felony offenses andmisdemeanor offenses.

Felony offenses are more serious, therefore the penalties are more severe. Misdemeanor offenses are usually far less serious, and their penalties are lighter.

Felony Classifications

Both Felony and Misdemeanor penalties are classified, with a corresponding letter. Class A Felony offenses are the most severe; punishments decrease with subsequent classes.

Felony Sentences & Fines

While certain criminal charges carry other mandatory minimum or maximum punishments, generally speaking the offense classifications and corresponding sentencing ranges are listed below for felonies, and misdemeanors are listed on Misdemeanor Penalties.

Felony Penalties

Class A Felony  
  • Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. (The only way to be paroled is if the governor commutes the sentence.
Class B Felony  
  • 25 years imprisonment
Class C Felony  
  • 10 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $1,000 to $10,000
Class D Felony  
  • 5 years imprisonment and a potential fine of $750 to $7,500

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