Concept

Felony

Summary
A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousness, whereas a misdemeanour is regarded as less serious. The term "felony" originated from English common law (from the French medieval word "félonie") to describe an offense that resulted in the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods, to which additional punishments including capital punishment could be added; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Following conviction of a felony in a court of law, a person may be described as a felon or a convicted felon. In many common law jurisdictions (such as England and Wales, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), crimes are no longer classified as felonies or misdemeanours. Instead, serious crimes are classified as indictable offenses, and less serious crimes as summary offenses. In some civil law jurisdictions, such as Italy and Spain, the term delict is used to describe serious offenses, a category similar to common law felony. In other natio
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