What Is a Class B Felony in Alabama?
There are three classifications for felonies in Alabama. Class A is the most serious and Class C is the least serious. A Class B felony can trigger a significant stay in prison. Class B felonies include:
- Manslaughter – first degree
- Assault – first degree
- Kidnapping – second degree
Maximum and Minimum Sentences
The sentencing ranges are only the starting point when it comes to sentencing a criminal in Alabama. If there are no aggravating circumstances and the defendant doesn’t have previous convictions, the range of 2 years to 20 years in prison will probably be used by a court. Courts also have the discretion to issue fines, with a maximum fine of no more than $30,000 for a Class B felony.
If specific aggravating circumstances are present with a Class B felony, there are a number of laws in Alabama that call for enhanced penalties in certain circumstances. State officials have set sentencing ranges for each felony classification. The range for Class B felonies goes from. For example, a conviction of a Class B sex crime increases the minimum prison term from 2 to 20 years. If you have a prior felony conviction, the range for a Class B conviction increases to a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 99 years in prison. For two prior convictions, the sentencing range increases to a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of life and a minimum of 20 years for 3 or more previous felony convictions. Increased ranges are also triggered when a Class B felony involves a sexual offense or the use or possession of a firearm. In those cases, the minimum sentence is 10 years in prison with no change to the maximum prison term
Loss of Rights and Benefits
As soon as you are convicted you will lose the following rights in Alabama:
- Hold state office
- Own or possess a firearm
- Serve on a jury
- Hold some jobs, particularly those in the healthcare field, that require state or federal licenses
Any felony involving “moral turpitude” in Alabama will trigger the lost of civil rights. Court cases have defined moral turpitude as virtually any felony crime. No civil rights lost as a result of a Class B felony conviction – or any other felony conviction – are automatically restored in Alabama.
Employment and Housing with a Felony Record
You will not be able to hide the presence of a Class B felony conviction as you search for a job or housing in Alabama. It is legal for employers and landlords to ask about a criminal record and to look up that information. Your chances of being successful will be improved if you check first with state officials for listings of companies and individuals that will hire convicted felons. The same is true for a housing search
Clearing Your Record
It is possible to restore your right to vote in Alabama, lost as a result of a Class B felony conviction, by submitting a Voting Rights Restoration Form with state officials. There are some felonies, including murder, sexual abuse or rape, which trigger a lifetime loss of the right to vote. While the Alabama Legislature agreed to revise the expungement process in the state, there still is no expungement available for someone with a Class B felony conviction. The best option for someone with a Class B felony conviction is to apply for a pardon with the Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole. An applicant must have either completed three consecutive years of parole or completed a felony sentence that was three years or less. The application must show that the district attorney, prosecutor and judge who handled the case have been notified, as well as the Chief of Police where the crime occurred and the victim or a member of the victim’s family.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, you should visit an attorney.