Class D felonies are on the lower end of the serious crimes range and sentencing rules vary from state to federal.
Class D Federal Felonies
Judges refer to a federal guideline for felonies, though federal judges have substantial discretion in sentencing. Under those guidelines, a Class D felony is generally a lower-level crime, such as the distribution of drugs near a school. The guidelines for Class D felonies call for sentences between five and 10 years imprisonment, a maximum fine of no more than $250,000, or both.
Class D State Felonies
A Class D felony is a serious crime on the state level because it has risen above a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by no more than six months in jail in addition to a possible fine. The most serious crimes, whether misdemeanors or felonies, are Class A crimes, such as rape and murder. Class D crimes are usually in the lowest grouping of felony crimes in a state.
Class D Sentencing
The sentences for Class D felonies can vary significantly from state to state. In Missouri, Class D felonies are part of the lowest tier of felony crimes, like the federal system. However, in Missouri, you would face up to four years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted of a Class D felony. One important issue with state sentences for Class D felonies is that virtually all states in the country have rules that allow for much more serious sentences for repeat offenders, based on research that indicates 90 percent of all crimes are committed by 10 percent of all criminals. That means a Class D felony, combined with other previous convictions, could lead to a sentence similar to a Class A or Class B felony.