Did you know that there are different categories of crimes? Not all crimes are treated the same way, and depending on the severity, they might not even show up on your criminal record. Additionally, not every state handles crimes the same way. Every state divides crimes into infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies, and within those categories, there are different levels of severity. If you are facing legal trouble, it is important to understand the differences between the categories.
Infractions are also known as a violation and are the least serious category of crimes. Crimes that are considered infractions are usually minor issues like traffic offenses or littering. While most states don’t punish infractions with jail time, it will usually not be for more than a week if you find that you are jailed because of an infraction. If you receive an infraction, you will likely be required to pay a fee, and then the issue is dismissed. However, if you fail to pay your fee, it can cause the infraction to escalate to a higher level of crime.
Misdemeanor cases Newport Beach CA are more serious than infractions and often carry a jail sentence. The required sentence usually lasts for no more than a year. Additionally, time served is usually in a county jail instead of a prison. Most misdemeanors are broken up into levels of seriousness and are classified as class A, B or C. Examples of misdemeanors are simple assault, prostitution, or shoplifting.
Felonies are the most serious category of crimes and usually carry more than one year in prison. Additionally, if the state where the crime took place has the death penalty, then a felony must have occurred there for you to receive this sentence. Just as with misdemeanors, most felonies are divided into categories depending on the level of seriousness. The felony could be a class A, B, C, D or E. Felonies are typically severe crimes against other people, such as rape, murder or kidnapping, but can also include significant damage to property such as arson.