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At common law, a felony was a particularly serious offence see: Treason Felony Misdemeanour The distinction between felony and misdemeanour is now largely abolished. The term originates from English common law where felonies were originally crimes which involved the confiscation of a convicted person's land and goods; other crimes were called misdemeanors. Most common law countries have now abolished the felony/misdemeanor distinction and replaced it with other distinctions such as between summary offences and indictable offences.