Criminal law is broken down into three classifying categories: infraction, misdemeanor, and felony. Infractions are not punishable by jail or prison time. Contrastingly, the misdemeanor and felony classes of crime can both potentially be served with jail or prison time. The last and most serious class of crime is felony. If a person is convicted of a felony, they can expect to serve a sentence in prison from one year up to life. In certain murder cases, sentences can also include a death penalty. We now know the possible punishments for a felony conviction but what exactly is a felony itself? Here are the the different types of felony crimes according to U.S. law:
“Mala in se” is a latin phrase that is used in the legal system to define crimes that violate the moral, public, or natural principles of a society. These types of crimes are heinous crimes and are considered felonies. Murder, rape, arson, human trafficking, robbery, and burglary are all types of mala in se crimes that are punishable by imprisonment in a county prison for multiple years. There are certain murder cases that can lead to the death penalty if the jury finds the defendant to show indifference to human life.
White Collar Crimes
Crimes that are committed in a professional setting and in hopes of gaining a financial advantage at the loss of another are considered white collar crimes. Although white collar crimes are not violent crimes against individuals, they financially affect many people. Individuals can lose their jobs, their stock values, and much more due to someone’s criminal activity with a corporation’s finances. Types of white collar crimes include: blackmail, bribery, counterfeiting, embezzlement, extortion, forgery, insider trading, tax evasion, kickback, and a variety of frauds.
Second Time Misdemeanor Offenses
There are certain crimes that are normally considered misdemeanors that can be elevated to felonies. Crimes such as assault, trespass, prostitution, DUI, and theft are misdemeanors that can be considered felonies after repeat offenses. However, states may differ in which crimes they deem to be felonies after repeat offense. For example, some states consider a second time DUI as a felony offense while other states still consider it a misdemeanor.
Criminal law can be quite difficult to understand. If you or a loved one are faced with a potential criminal case, please call our office today to speak to an expert.