Most people have heard of felony crimes, but many may not really know what distinguished a felony from a misdemeanor charge. The technical difference is simple. A felony is any charge where the potential sentence can exceed one year's time. So, a misdemeanor is by definition, are all crimes with sentences less than a year.
The classification of a crime as either a felony or a misdemeanor is done by the legislature and many times, people may be surprised by the types of offenses that fall under a felony classification. Last week, a man was arrested for what may sound like a silly charge. He was selling counterfeit Chicago Cubs baseball caps. In this case, it was charged as a Class 3 felony, which could lead to a sentence of 2-5 years in jail.
The caps were pink and blue and one police officer had asked him to leave the Wrigley Field area after he came across his phony hats. However, within a few minutes, the suspect was found by Department of Homeland Security and private security officers from Major League Baseball, which may explain why he was arrested.
Apparently, he has made selling counterfeit sports apparel into a traveling business and was wearing an ankle bracelet from a previous incident. DHS reported he had been found engaging in this activity in six other states.
The fact that there is a lot of money to be made in merchandise associated with major league sports teams, and the fact that they hire their own private detectives to search for counterfeit goods is one reason this man is facing felony charges on what could be seen by some as a trivial matter.
Source: nbcchicago.com, “Man Faces Felony Charge for Selling Counterfeit Chicago Cubs Hats,” September 27, 2015