A serious crime, characterized under federal law and many state statutes as any offense punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year.
Under the early COMMON LAW, felonies were crimes involving moral turpitude, those which violated the moral standards of a community. Later, however, crimes that did not involve mortal turpitude became included in the definition of a felony.
Presently many state statutes list various classes of felonies with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offense. Crimes classified as felonies include, among others, TREASON, ARSON, murder, rape, ROBBERY, BURGLARY, MANSLAUGHTER, and KIDNAPPING.