The branch of the legal system that deals with criminal offenses and punishments is criminal law. If you or someone you care about has been charged with a crime, work with a criminal defense attorney in Indianapolis, and understand the nature of the charges against you. What are the types of criminal offenses? All types of criminal offenses fall into one of three categories. The three categories of criminal offenses are infractions, misdemeanors and felonies. If you have found yourself being charged with a criminal offense, then you need to speak with a top-rated Indianapolis defense at 317-721-9858.

INFRACTIONS

 Infractions

Infractions are the least serious type of criminal violations. Often infractions are referred to as petty crimes. Infractions are criminal offenses that are almost always punishable by fines, which the majority of time, an offender can pay without going to court. Infractions can vary a bit from one jurisdiction to another since they are often determined by local laws and regulations. Some common examples of infractions include:

  • Parking tickets
  • Violations of noise ordinances
  • Speeding tickets
  • Fishing without a license
  • Littering
  • Jaywalking

 Again, an infraction is a criminal offense that is not punishable by imprisonment. Generally speaking, any person convicted of an infraction may only be punished by a fine, removal and/or disqualification from public office. The majority of the time, infractions are punished with a fine only.

MISDEMEANORS

Misdemeanors

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is more significant than an infraction but definitely not as major as a felony offense. Misdemeanors are criminal offenses that are punishable by fines or jail time not to exceed one year. The types of crimes that are normally considered as misdemeanors include:

  • Public intoxication
  • Prostitution
  • Shoplifting
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI

Certain criminal offenses can blur the line between misdemeanors and felonies. Those offenses are called “wobblers”.  A wobbler is a crime that can be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In general, the prosecutor decides how the defendant will be charged, and the judge decides how to sentence the individual charged with the crime.  A good criminal attorney will let you know if a misdemeanor charge rises to the level of a felony, and they often can help “wobblers”, wobble in your favor.

FELONIES

Felonies

The felony classification is criminal offense that is reserved for the most severe crimes. A felony is crime that more often than not resulted in bodily harm or death to another person. Felonies are criminal offenses that are punishable by a minimum prison sentence of one year and a maximum as punishable by death. In some cases of felonies, substantial fines may be imposed, or the offender may be required to forfeit property and pay restitution. The types of crimes that are normally considered as felonies include:

  • Murder
  • Sexual assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Arson
  • Drug dealing

 If You’ve Been Charged with a Type of Criminal Offense

A good criminal attorney will explain in depth the type of criminal offense charges in your case and the various options for a strong criminal defense. Call our office at 317-721-9858 for assistance with fighting your criminal charges today!

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