Criminal law is a system of legal rules that guides the commitment of crimes in a particular place. In the United States like some other countries, this system of law helps to deter and punish people or groups who violate rights, safety and lives of others. Those found guilty in criminal laws are referred to as “criminals” and could be punished heavily for their “crimes” or serious offenses.
In the United States, Criminal law system classifies crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. The former refers to very serious offenses, while the latter are offenses that are not too serious. The following paragraphs give more details about felonies and misdemeanors as classified by the criminal law in the US. Get an experienced criminal lawyer. A Criminal Lawyer will make a difference and a GREAT criminal lawyer can keep you out of jail.
Felonies – These are offenses often classified as “serious” or “heinous” or “violent”. They involve crimes that with dire consequences. Examples of crimes considered felonies include: rape, murder, armed robbery, money laundering, embezzlement, burglary, and drug trafficking.
The nature of felonies “serious” and could attract severe penalties. Punishments for felonies in most states of the US include: incarcerations in state or federal prison for one year or more.
Some cases of felonies attract incarcerations, fines, and restitution to deter and punish the offender for the serious crime committed against the state. Felony cases require the accused to be represented by a defense lawyer. This attorney could be state selected or privately hired.
Misdemeanors – These are offenses the criminal law classifies as less serious in nature. In most instances, misdemeanors blend with civil law or Tort. Examples of crimes under misdemeanor include: drunken driving, traffic violations, petty theft, possession of uncontrolled substances, etc. Since these crimes might not be severe, they could attract light sentences.
For instance, in the US, most misdemeanor offenses attract a jail term of between 1 day and one year. Fines and repossession of property could also serve as punishment.
So, from the paragraphs above, you now have idea of what felonies and misdemeanors are referring to. These classifications of criminal law should be noted so you could be guided against being an offender. For both classifications, you will have criminal records if you are accused.