Criminal charges are serious and can significantly affect a person's life. Someone convicted of a crime cannot vote in some states, cannot work or volunteer for government jobs, and cannot serve on a jury. Most employers will discriminate against someone convicted of a crime and require an applicant to be free of convictions. Criminal charges carry significant consequences classified according to severity. Three main types of criminal charges include infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
Infractions are also known as petty crimes and are minor offenses that carry little or no criminal penalties. Minor traffic violations, noise violations, littering, and loitering are all examples of minor infractions and are punishable by fines rather than jail time. While an infraction is considered a minor offense, it can lead to more significant consequences when not resolved.
A misdemeanor is a class of charges below a felony. Violations can include trespassing, vandalism, harassment, and simple assault. Like felonies, misdemeanors have degrees of classification, which determines the severity of the penalty. While misdemeanors carry less severe penalties than felonies, they are still crimes, and a conviction could have negative implications for many years. Therefore, having a criminal defense attorney or business attorney who understands the law help with a situation could be beneficial.
Felonies are the highest crime severity, punishable by imprisonment from one year to life in prison or even execution in some states. Drug abuse, rape, aggravated assault, extortion, armed robbery and murder are all felony offenses. A felony affects all group members involved in the crime, including the offender and their accomplices. A felony conviction can affect abilities to get a job, be admitted to college, get loan approvals, or have voting rights. It can also affect immigration status.
Criminal charges are serious business. They can affect an individual's reputation, career, and personal freedom. So, it’s always best for all persons to think about any possible consequences before taking any questionable actions in life. Doing thorough research can sometimes reveal surprising answers that an action is illegal.