Categories of Crime Under Criminal Law

Lawyer reviewing a paperA crime is any act punishable by your state. Civil and criminal law are the two broad categories of law. Civil laws mainly focus on legal controversies and monetary damages. Criminal law, on the other hand, involves serious crimes.

Penalties for breaking criminal law are unlike in the case of civil law, which involve forfeiture of a convict’s rights and imprisonment. With these consequences, it is prudent to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Provo to ensure you get an acquittal when faced with a criminal offense charge.

Here are different categories of criminal law based on their severity.

1. Infractions

At times referred to as petty offenses, an infraction is a violation of municipal code, ordinance, and administrative regulation. Under some jurisdictions, this includes local traffic, and state rules.

These offenses are punishable by fines and no incarceration. When used as a punishment, incarceration is typically for a limited period. Disorderly conduct, DUI, and petty theft are some common types of infractions.

2. Misdemeanors

These crimes are more serious compared with infractions. They are punishable by incarceration at a local county jail or through fines.

Deception, theft, stalking, gross indecency and aggravated assault are common criminal offenses in this category. Experts typically regard misdemeanors as crimes of moral turpitude, unlike infractions. Misdemeanor convictions might hence reduce your chances of getting a good job or a scholarship.

3. Felony

This is the most severe criminal offense. A felony is punishable by a fine and incarceration of more than a year. A felony conviction is also grounds for deportation in the case of immigrants.

Felonies include arson, rape, robbery, terrorism, treason, and kidnapping. Felonies in most states have a three-strike law, which stipulates a life sentence for anyone convicted of a felony thrice.

READ  Involved in a Vehicle Accident? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

These classifications of criminal law affect not only the punishment for the crime but also their prosecution. Felony charges, for instance, require an indictment or preliminary hearing, unlike other criminal offenses. Juries are also typically reserved for felonies and serious misdemeanors.