There are various types of crime classifications. They range from non-serious classifications to severe classifications with harsh consequences. It is important for defendants to know the differences between crime classifications and how they will impact the punishment defendants will receive if convicted. Crime classifications normally fall into three categories that include infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. A criminal defense attorney can help you better understand how they will affect your situation.
Infractions are the lowest form of crime classifications. These crimes generally involve giving an individual a ticket or citation. Infraction violations require little or no time in court or jail. These crimes are simple violations, such as a traffic violation or jaywalking. However, it is important to quickly address these crimes. Ignoring infractions may result in additional hefty fines and penalties.
A misdemeanor is a crime classification that is less serious than a felony, yet more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors are usually punishable by either a fine or stay in a local county jail. Jail time is normally less than a year. Often they are distinguishable by three classes, which may include high or gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors may include a short time, less than six months, in a local jail or a fine. Realizing the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction is important. Your criminal defense attorney can help create a defense to reduce the outcomes of a misdemeanor conviction. Common misdemeanors may include trespassing, public drunkenness, petty theft, or vandalism.
Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors, and the consequences are more devastating to the convicted. Felonies may include grand theft, arson, murder, rape, kidnaping, burglary, terrorism, illegal drug use and possession, fraud, or embezzlement. Felonies are the most serious type of crime classification and are usually classified by degrees, such as first-degree felony or second-degree felony. First-degree is the most serious. However, the Commonwealth does not classify felony crimes into different classes. Instead, each criminal law includes potential penalties for each individual felony. If one is found guilty of a felony, the person will most certainly spend time in prison, not a local jail. Criminal fines for those guilty of committing a felony can be thousands of dollars. Your criminal defense attorney can explain the various felony laws and how they might impact your case. He or she can create a defense to help reduce the prison time.
A felony conviction will be a part of your permanent criminal record. Being convicted of a felony crime can affect your housing and job prospects. A felony conviction will keep you from voting, carrying firearms or obtaining various professional licenses in the Commonwealth. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you explore plea options and other defense strategies. You want to avoid any felony conviction if you can because the life-changing impact can be permanent.
If you want to learn more about crime classifications and how they impact your case, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.