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The term felonious is used to classify how certain conduct or intent relates to or qualifies as a felony crime. It is descriptive of the grade of the offense, rather than a distinct element of a crime. According to the Sentencing Guideline defining offenses, the term felonious means punishable by death or a term of imprisonment exceeding one year. U.S.S.G. § 2A2.2, 18 U.S.C. § 3559 

All criminal acts falling within a statute defining a felony as a crime punishable by imprisonment can be described as felonious. Because there are many kinds of felonies, there are many kinds of felonious conduct. Some examples of the usage of this term include, but are not limited to:

In common law, the word felonious means wickedly and against the admonition of law. However, the term felonious does not apply to misdemeanors or infractions. Felonious is only properly used when referring to something that relates to or qualifies as a felony crime. 

For instance, felonious assault is a type of simple assault aggravated by the use of a weapon along with the present ability or apparent present ability to commit battery. However, a simple assault, such as verbally threatening an individual with violence, is not felonious.

[Last updated in February of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]