We have been talking a lot about bail bonds and their processes, especially in Denver bail bonds. But for this article, we will tackle the different classifications of a criminal offense. It is important to know these degrees so that we’ll know their consequences and if these are bailable or not. Knowing the different classifications also helps us save time especially whenever we are on the verge of processing bail bonds.
Here are the classifications of a criminal offense:
Felony is the most serious offense of them all. Crime offense under this classification causes or threatens serious bodily injury to a person, or that causes a person’s death. Grave crimes like murder or rape are declared to be felonies by the common law or by statute regardless of the punishment actually imposed. In addition, theft or fraud-related crimes can be classified as felonies too if the amounts involved in the scheme exceed certain benchmarks and repeated offenders might be charged with a felony for an offense that might not be considered a felony in other circumstances.
Felony is often divided into sub-categories to determine the specific punishment. These categories are first, second, and third-degree offenses. Punishment usually came as imprisonment for one year or a life sentence without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty for some murder cases in some states. On the other hand, felonies may also be punishable by a fine, oftentimes in thousands of dollars and if the defendant pleads guilty to a felony offense, the court may approve a period of probation. In times like this, help from a 24 hour bail bonds company is a great option. They would help you process the bail or fine in return for showing during the hearing.
As a general rule, a felony is a punishable offense by more than one year in prison while a misdemeanor which we will tackle next is an offense punishable by imprisonment of a year or less.
As mentioned, unlike the felony, this offense is punishable by imprisonment of a year or less as these include offenses that are less serious than felonies but typically still punishable. Defendants charged with misdemeanor offenses usually have the right to an attorney of their choice and a jury trial although state laws vary on details like unanimity for a guilty verdict.
Note that similar offenses can be classified based on the circumstances such as prior convictions like a first-time shoplifting offense would likely be classified as a misdemeanor while a second or third-time offense could be classified as a felony.
Infractions include offenses that are punishable by a fine but not jail time. Examples of these offenses are traffic offenses including speeding, parking violations, and other minor offenses.
There are also felonies under federal law and some federal statutes impose restrictions on people who have been convicted of a felony either at the state or federal level and they often include specific definitions of a felony in order to ensure that they are applied consistently.
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