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What Are the Different Types of Crimes?

Legal Blog

No matter what state you live in, crimes fall under different groups to classify them. This grouping typically reflects the seriousness of the different types of crimes committed. There are usually three different classifications that these types of crimes divide up into by the courts. It typically starts at the lowest classification up to the highest. The groups are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. The purpose of these classifications is to help create a more efficient system and makes a pattern that society can follow when it comes to how these crimes impact it.

Understanding Infractions

On the scale of the seriousness of the different types of crimes, infractions are at the not as serious side. An infraction can typically only result in a fine with no potential for seeing time inside a jail cell. In some cases, such as with traffic violations, there may be the potential for you having to attend traffic school or another type of class in addition to the fine. As fines and the possibility for taking a course are the usual punishments for these types of crimes, they don’t often involve a jury trial. In addition, there may not be an attorney provided to you or a prosecutor used on these types of cases. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to get legal representation or advice regarding these matters.

Some examples of infractions are traffic violations, jaywalking, shoplifting, noise violations, and disorderly conduct. These types of crimes are ones that the police may deal with but are often pretty low ranking in the scheme of things. That being said, there are times when infractions are made into lesser-included crimes for criminal charges that are more serious. This fact can make these lesser charges part of a broader situation that’s more serious.  

Understanding Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is not as severe as a felony, but not as easy to handle as a single infraction. A misdemeanor may result in fines that go up to around $1,000 and/or up to a one-year maximum jail sentence. These types of crimes typically have sentences served in a local, county jail instead of having to attend a prison facility. There is an additional potential of having to participate in a course or rehabilitation in conjunction with other punishments. For some situations, there is the potential of receiving probation or parole for these types of charges.

Examples of misdemeanors are driving under the influence, not appearing in court, serious traffic offenses, common theft, in addition to assault and battery. In some cases, these misdemeanors may become felonies. For instance, assault and battery when the victim is a member of law enforcement can become felony charges.

Understanding Felonies

The types of crimes that felonies encapsulate are the most severe crimes. Often, these are the crimes that can hurt the public, such as drug distribution or violent behavior. Consequences range from massive fines of over a thousand dollars to going to prison for at least a year. These charges are hard to deal with later on in life. Going through the expungement process for a felony is much harder. Having a felony accusation against you can have a significant impact on your life.

Some of the examples of felonies are making or selling drugs, murder, homicide, rape, sexual assault, and crimes where a deadly weapon was used in the process of the offense. As noted previously, in some instances, crimes that would have fallen under one of the other classifications can be elevated up to a more severe state. It’s important to understand what charges you are facing. What seems like a simple charge, could be much more serious than you realize later down the road.

Getting Help for These Types of Crimes

No matter what the classification is of the crime you’re being accused of, you deserve proper assistance with your circumstance. You should seek out professionals that have experience working with the different types of crimes that fall within these different situations. While many of these crimes fall specifically in a particular classification, there are times and circumstances when the crime may become more serious than it would typically be. Even small infractions and misdemeanors can have a lasting impact on your life if your case doesn’t go your way. A legal professional experienced in handling similar situations can often be beneficial. They can work towards getting the best outcome possible for your case.

In New Jersey, you can count on the Law Office of Douglas Herring to assist you with your defense. Contact us today to discuss your case and how the different types of crimes can impact it. Let us help you to find the best path forward in your case that will work towards minimizing the negatives. You deserve an experienced defense attorney that will fight for you.

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