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Felony Lawyer Explains Difference Between a Felony, Misdemeanor, and Infraction

October 5, 2020
October 5, 2020 Criminal Lawyer

Here at Dale Carson Law our felony lawyers believe it is important for clients to understand the to differences between the major categories of offenses used in the justice system. Crimes can generally be broken down into 3 categories; Misdemeanors, Felonies, and Ordinance Violations. There is an additional category of non-criminal cases known as civil infractions, which are not technically criminal but share some characteristics with them.  The main distinction between the categories, is the severity of punishment a person is facing. Felonies are offenses which are punishable by more than a year in jail. Felonies can also result in the loss of civil rights and substantial fines and costs.  Misdemeanors are offenses which are punishable by less than a year in jail. As with felonies, misdemeanors can have collateral consequences, commonly including fines, temporary loss of certain rights, and driver’s license suspensions. Lastly, an ordinance violation is the least serious offense, exposing a defendant to minimal jail, and few consequences besides a criminal conviction. Understanding the differences between each category can help people better navigate the waters of the system.

Felony Lawyer Breaks Down Categories

  • Ordinance Violations
    • Least serious class of criminal offenses
    • Punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail
    • Examples of infractions: obstructing traffic, fighting, and other “petty offenses”
  • Misdemeanor
    • Any crime associated with a jail time punishment of less than 1 year
    • There are 2 degrees of misdemeanors, shown below:
      • 1st degree: Punishable by a maximum of 1 year in jail
      • 2nd degree: Punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail
    • Examples of infractions: DUI, possession of personal use amount of marijuana, domestic battery
  • Felony
    • Most serious class of criminal offenses
    • Punishable by a more than 1 year in county jail
    • There are multiple degrees of felonies, shown below:
      • Capital: Punishable by death or mandatory life
      • PBL: Punishable by life
      • 1st degree: Punishable by a maximum of 30 years
      • 2nd degree: Punishable by a maximum of 15 years
      • 3rd degree: Punishable by a maximum of 5 years
    • Examples of infractions: Homicide, possession of hard drugs, trafficking and sale of drugs, robbery, burglary  are murder, rape, burglary

felony lawyer

Dale Carson Law Team Is Here For You

Whatever the case, our felony lawyer and our other lawyers/attorneys are prepared to provide legal counsel and support. Our team will study the charges and help determine the best course of action for the given circumstances. Reach one of our team members on our website for a free consultation or give us a call anytime. We’re here to help represent you and protect your rights.

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