Felony Vs. Misdemeanor
We all have encountered the law at some point in our lives. Whether we were speeding, ran a red light, stole something or encounters through friends, family or media. There are various levels of breaking the law and encounters with law enforcement that we can have. Coolidge Law, (serving Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, and Chandler) is here to help you determine your legal needs. In the United States, the criminal code is broken down into two categories; misdemeanors and felonies.
A felony is the punishment for crimes that has a larger consequence due to the seriousness and severity of the crime. These are the most serious types of crimes committed, and they can either be violent crimes or non-violent crimes. By getting a felony, it incurs maximum punishment that starts with incarceration in a prison for at least a year. Charges also may be incurred that ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Some examples of felonies include:
- Attempted murder
- Human traffiking
- Failing to inform a sex partner of being HIV positive
These are just a handful of the different types of possible felonies. Other crimes may also be considered a felony based on state and federal laws.
Misdemeanors are the lesser punishable crimes due to the lesser severity of the crime committed. These crimes usually result in jail time of less than twelve months or a smaller fine with a maximum of $2000. The jail time would be served in a local jail instead of a prison facility. Some examples of misdemeanors include:
- Traffic violations
- Petty theft
- Public drunkenness
The severity of the crime determines the category of the crime and severity of punishment. Misdemeanors can be elevated to the level of a felony if there are aggravated circumstances involved in the crime. It is best to contact your capable attorney as soon as you have a run in with the law, and Coolidge Law is here to help.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/20/2017) (Flickr)