Classifying Criminal Offenses

The United States of America has three classifications when it comes to criminal offenses – felonies, infractions, and misdemeanors. The differences among the three depend on the severity and weight of the offence done and the amount of punishment that the convicted will receive. It is important for a charged person to know the difference among the three in order to have the right defense and protect themselves when they are charged.

Infractions are considered the lightest of criminal offenses, and this type does not require any imprisonment or incarceration. Infractions are also called petty crimes, those who are charged with infractions are generally fined, which are payable without necessarily appearing in court. Majority of the infractions are from local ordinances and laws aimed to discourage dangerous or annoying behaviors, although there are situations where infractions can become a serious crime.

On the other hand, misdemeanors are a type of criminal offense that is generally punishable by a short jail time and/or a monetary fine. Often, the time of imprisonment does not exceed one year, to be served in county jail, with a maximum fine of $1,000.00. Because misdemeanors can be serious charges, defendants have certain guaranteed rights (such as an attorney for legal representation), with trials lasting several months to even years.

The most serious category of crimes is a felony, where the person charged have the possibility of being in prison for more than a year, for life or even get executed. Property and person crimes are punishable felonies. A Columbia criminal defense lawyer can tell you that different states have their own classifications regarding felonies, each with increasing penalties for the seriousness of the crime and its minimum and maximum sentences. There are chances also, as some states practice, where convicted felons lose their civil rights.

In states that follow the death penalties, all crimes that can be punished through death are considered felonies. It all depends on the state that the crime was committed. Aside from longer punishments, convicted felons are also required to disclose their status when they are applying for a job, and can have limited traveling opportunities, among other things.

2 Responses to “Classifying Criminal Offenses”

  1. HachandRose says:

    Your blog is improperly displaying characters when I use Ubunto with Google Chrome. Just thought you should know!

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