Felonies are the most serious criminal cases. A case is a felony if the punishment can include state prison. This differs from a misdemeanor (or less serious) case, in which the punishment is, at most, a year in county jail. Felony charges range from drug, burglary and car theft cases up to rape, arson and murder. Although some felonies are punishable by life in prison, most cases have fixed sentences. Just because someone is charged with a felony does not necessarily mean he or she will be sent to state prison. The possible penalties depend on the charges and facts of your case, and should be discussed with your lawyer. The law of sentencing in felony cases is very complex and has been growing more difficult each year.