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Class B Felony Definition

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A Class B felony is a serious crime with severe penalties. Class B felonies are categorized below a Class A felony, but higher than a Class C felony and the penalty is a presumptive prison term.

Examples of Class B felonies include manslaughter, attempt of a class A felony, robbery, arson, drug possession or delivery (depending on the amount), aggravated sexual assault and intentional neglect.

Class B felonies carry a definite term of imprisonment. To use Alabama as an example, persons convicted of Class B felonies typically face a minimum imprisonment term of two years, and a maximum term of 20 years. Here are other Class B sentencing guidelines, with Alabama as the example: 

Class B Felony Enhancements

  • If a person uses or attempts to use a firearm or deadly weapon during the commission of a Class B felony, the minimum sentence is automatically enhanced to 10 years.
  • If the crime involves a criminal sex offense involving a child, the minimum sentence is enhanced to 10 years.
  • If the crime is a hate crime (a crime motivated by race, color, religion, or disability), the minimum sentence is enhanced to 10 years.

The minimum and maximum sentence in Alabama can be enhanced for any crime of a violent nature (aggravating circumstances) and reduced for mitigating circumstances.

Class B Felony Penalties and Habitual Offenders

  • If a person has one prior felony conviction and commits a Class B felony, the punishment will be the same as a Class A felony (10 years to life imprisonment).
  • If a person has two prior felony convictions and commits a Class B felony, the penalty will be prison for an indeterminate amount of time such as life, up to 99 years, with a minimum sentence of not less than 15 years.
  • If a person has three prior felony convictions and commits a Class B felony, the punishment will be life, with a minimum of not less than 20 years.

Fines, Restitution and Surcharges

Any person convicted of a Class B felony can be sentenced to pay a fine of up to $30,000, as well as restitution that covers damages and expenses and will have to pay a 30% surcharge to the court.

Those accused of a Class B felony should immediately seek as legal counsel an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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