True crime as entertainment is more popular now than ever, so many people feel as though they’re well acquainted with the law. However, most people have less knowledge about what happens after the bad guy is caught. When a criminal is caught, they are charged with the crime that law enforcement believes they committed. Then, the classifications of crimes committed depends on the alleged crime that has taken place. This week join us as we explore the classifications of crimes, from infractions to felonies.
Infractions are the lowest level crimes that people can commit. Generally, the person who committed the infraction does not even need to appear in court. Commonly, people know infractions as petty crimes. People with infractions usually just break local laws and ordinances. Legal officials design those ordinances in order to prevent nuisance behavior. Usually, this means no time in jail, just a simple fine
The most common type of infraction is speeding. Other common infractions include parking in a no parking zone, blocking a shoulder, and failing to brake at a stop sign. Obviously, many infractions are driving-centric, but there are other instances as well. Common non-driving infractions include breaking noise ordinances, littering, or running a business without the proper licenses.
Misdemeanors are minor crimes for which the maximum jail sentence is a year or less. Typically, this category covers a wide range of crimes. Everything from drug possession to battery falls under the umbrella of misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are often low-level offences where nobody involved incurred serious injury.
The offences often carry the potential for violence, with little follow through. Additionally, misdemeanors are often first-time offenses. There are a variety of common misdemeanors in the state of Florida.
- Simple battery, there must be no weapon and no long-term impacts of the violence.
- DUI as long as the perpetrator is a first-time offender. Additionally, the person charged with DUI must not have caused anybody else bodily harm.
- Prostitution as a first-time offense.
- Possession of marijuana without a medical marijuana card. Must be less than an ounce, otherwise it is considered “intent to distribute.” That intention upgrades the possession to a felony.
- Petty theft, the property must be valued under $300.
- Resisting an officer, with no violence. Oftentimes, this means that the subject is simply running away or being belligerent.
Felonies are crimes that result in anywhere between five years in prison to a life sentence. Oftentimes the crimes are violent and have the potential for further violence. Felonies are classified in different degrees: capital, life, first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. Capital felonies are the most serious, decreasing in severity until third-degree felonies.
A more common phrase in the public mind for capital punishment is the death penalty. In the modern justice system, judges often condemn criminals to capital punishment if they are repeat offenders of horrific crimes. For example, serial killers and serial rapists. However, many states are moving away from the death penalty.
Examples Of Felonies
Felonies encapsulate crimes all the way from tax evasion to treason.
- Murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide
- Sexual assault and sexual battery
- Distribution or manufacture of drugs
- All types of abuse: child, elder, and animal
- Abduction, particularly kidnapping
- Aggravated assault and assault with a deadly weapon