The state of Vermont defines its felonies as offenses that can have imprisonment terms of more than two years in a state prison or as much as life in prison or death for a single offense. Unlike other states, Vermont does not separate its felonies into different classifications. A majority of the states have alphabetical or numerical classifications for every felony, but Vermont has a different system. Each felony is placed into a degree of punishment. Each offense has its own statute to which punishments are designated, most with a single degree of the offense. These include burglary, theft, rape, drug offenses, sexual offenses, and others. Crimes like kidnapping and murder have separate degrees of punishment.
Vermont has a felony class that defines murder as the intentional killing of another through willful act, premeditated act, deliberate act, by lying in wait, by poison, attempted arson, by sexual assault, by robbery, by aggravated sexual assault, or by burglary. These kinds of murder are deemed first-degree offenses of murder. All other forms of murder are otherwise classified as murder in the second degree. Murder in the first degree is punishable in the state of Vermont by a prison sentence of no less than thirty-five years and no more than life. The punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole is also an option. In some cases an individual may be charged with multiple offenses at the same time, in these cases the prison terms can be added to one another. For instance a single individual may be sentenced with two life sentences without parole and another may be sentenced with one thirty-five-year sentence for one murder and fifty-five years for another murder. However no single offense can receive more than one murder charge but can receive more than one offense, such as a sentence for murder, rape, and sexual assault at the same time.
Murder in the second degree has slightly different punishments that include no less than twenty years in prison and no more than life in prison. Life imprisonment with no parole possibility is also an option in this degree. All other felony convictions can have different ranges.
Driving under the influence can have charges of seven hundred fifty dollars to twenty-five hundred dollars and can have prison sentences up to five years. Arson is punishable by up to ten years in prison while aggravated assault is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. Possession of illegal drugs can have imprisonment terms of up to twenty years, depending on the drug and the amount. Robbery and larceny are punishable by up to ten years in prison while stalking is punishable by up to two years in prison.
Vermont is one of the few states where felonies may be expunged if the individual was not found to be guilty or where the case was later dismissed. Certain criteria must be fulfilled before petitioning for convicted felons can begin: the sentencing terms must be completed, no other outstanding crime can be held, and fifteen years must pass after all terms have been completed.