Types of Crimes
When someone breaks the law, the level of severity types of crimes that the individual committed in the act, determines what classification of crime the person will face. That category could be one of three types of crimes ranging from least to most serious, which are: Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies.
Infractions are most commonly known as petty offenses that often result in fines by paying a citation or ticket for violating a law. Infractions are unique from that of misdemeanors and felonies in that there is not a right to trial by jury because infractions cannot result in jail time or even probation. Furthermore, because there is no right to a jury trial, free legal counsel from the public defender’s office is also not provided as it would be in a misdemeanor or felony. Despite the lack of jury trial, individuals may still present evidence and call witnesses in front of a judge to make their case. To provide the best chance to potentially waive or reduce the violation fee of an infraction, people can still hire attorneys to represent them during the proceedings of an infraction to speak to judges on their behalf.
Misdemeanors deal with more serious offenses than that of infractions and are punishable by fines, community service, and a maximum of a one year sentence in a local county jail. While misdemeanors are one of the three general types of crimes, they can be further subdivided into additional classifications as well. They may be separated into petty, ordinary, or gross misdemeanors, each with their own set of punishments and guidelines to be handled by. Along with the risk of jail time and probation, comes the right to a trial by jury and the free legal counsel of the public defender’s office. One of the most important aspects of misdemeanors that separate them from infractions, is that getting convicted of a misdemeanor goes on one’s criminal record. This record is available for future employers and other institutions to see on file which can significantly impact your chances of obtaining a job or other qualification. For this reason, it is extremely important to hire an attorney to represent you at misdemeanor proceedings to avoid a conviction at all costs, or it could have lasting consequences that affect your life permanently.
Being charged with a felony is the most serious and heinous crime a person can be issued in the United States. Felonies, like misdemeanors, are subdivided into categories that create guidelines for how they should be punished by, based on the severity and type of crime committed. Felonies pose fines, sentences to jail of over one year which includes life without parole, and in rare cases, death. The ramifications of a felony are also different for immigrants that are not yet citizens of the United States. If an immigrant on a visa is convicted of a felony, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has grounds to deport the individual back to their country of origin. Moreover, convictions of felonies in over half of the U.S. participate in the “three strikes” laws. What this means for potential felons in participating states is that if you are convicted of felony, you receive a strike. If you are convicted of any additional felonies on any other separate case, you receive additional strikes. For each strike earned and conviction issued, the sentence becomes harsher based on the number of strikes one has. Viciously, if an individual is issued a third strike, the judge presiding over the case is required to issue a life sentence on the case. Bearing this in mind, the investigation, court proceedings, and possible trial of a felony case are absolutely critical to avoiding the potential consequences of such a conviction.
What Should I Do if I’m Charged with a Crime?
Regardless of the types of crimes and punishments involved, it is always in your best interest to hire an experienced criminal attorney that can vie for the greatest possible outcome in a case. The attorneys at Kenney Legal Defense have over 20 years of experience in dealing with all levels of criminal classifications at the state and federal levels. If you or know someone who has recently been charged with a crime, contact Kenney Legal Defense at (855) 505-5588 before it’s too late!