The Washington County (Oregon) Sheriff’s Office Newsletter always has at least one, and usually more, interesting (and even funny!) story. This latest issue includes this article:
“People often hear that criminals are charged with Theft I or Theft III. Have you ever wondered what the different numbers mean after the charges? Or maybe you have heard that someone was charged with a Class A, B or C felony or misdemeanor. Both of these systems are ways of classifying the seriousness of the crime. Here’s a bit of info to help you remember what these designations mean.
Think of “I” (or “first degree”) as being “number one” in importance or seriousness. The same idea holds true of Class A, B or C Felonies and Misdemeanors. In school, an “A” is a higher grade than a “B.” So as to the importance and seriousness of a crime, an “A” is more serious than a “B” which is more serious than a “C.” This list tells you the maximum penalties for offenses.
Class A Misdemeanor: 1 year in Jail
Class B Misdemeanor: 6 months in Jail
Class C Misdemeanor: 30 days in Jail
Class A Felony: 20 years in Prison
Class B Felony: 10 years in Prison
Class C Felony: 5 years in Prison