If you are facing criminal charges, then you need to consider hiring a criminal law attorney that is in good standing with the bar association for your state and is ready to fight for you no matter how serious your charges are.
There are many ways that crimes can be classified. They can be grouped according to severity of punishment, called grading, or they can be grouped by subject matter, such as “crime against property.”
Typically, criminal acts are divided into five subject matter groups:
- Crimes against property: Property damage or injuring a person by depriving them of their property.
- Statutory crimes: Laws that result from bills that are passed by the legislature reflect the voting and will of a specific jurisdiction, whether it is a city, county, state, or the whole country. This is why some states have different laws, or even why some cities have laws that are different from neighboring cities. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an example of a statutory crime.
- Financial crimes: These types of crimes involve corporate fraud, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, theft, scams, tax evasion and bribery
- Inchoate crimes: When someone takes preparatory steps towards committing a crime. Even if no harm has been done, an attempt can be considered an inchoate crime.
- Crimes against a person: These include crimes such as assault, battery, kidnapping, homicide and rape.
Severity of Punishment
In addition to crimes being categorized by who the injured party is, they are also broken down by severity. The more egregious the time, the more likely it is to be raised from a misdemeanor to a felony.
Infractions are the least serious violations. Generally they result in a fine. The types of minor offenses range from administrative violations, traffic tickets and jaywalking. In some cases an infraction could lead to a light sentence such as required traffic school.
A misdemeanor is a less serious crime than a felony but is usually punishable by up to one year in jail, fines, and other punishments that are given at sentencing, such as having to attend rehab or complete hours of community service. Another alternative sentence could be probation. However, because misdemeanors are less serious offenses, the defendant would serve their time in either a city or county jail.
Felonies are the most serious crimes and have some of the most severe punishments, including prison, high fines, probation, and, in extreme cases, execution. A felony conviction can also lead to life-changing consequences such as the inability to vote, own a weapon, or work in certain industries.
What is a felony-misdemeanor?
A felony misdemeanor is a crime that can be prosecuted as either, depending on the offense’s circumstances. For example, a DUI offense could be charged as a misdemeanor if it is a driver’s first one and their blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08. But if the driver has other DUI offenses in their recent driving history, if they caused an accident that severely injured or killed someone, or if their BAC was much higher than .08, then the driver could be charged with a felony.
What does a criminal defense attorney do?
If you are facing criminal charges, then you need to consider hiring a criminal law attorney that is in good standing with the bar association for your state and is ready to fight for you no matter how serious your charges are. You should immediately schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney with a proven record of success in both state and federal courts.