Criminal Procedures


What are the basic types of crimes?

Crimes are divided into three basic categories: (1) felonies, (2) misdemeanors, and (3) infractions. Felonies are the most serious offenses that lead to longer-term confinement. The basic rule is that any crime from which a person can serve a year or more in jail is a felony. Misdemeanors are less serious criminal offenses for which the person usually receives a fine or a jail term of less than a year. Finally, infractions are very petty crimes—generally at the local level—for which a person usually only has to pay a fine and not serve any jail time.

Many states further subdivide felonies and misdemeanors into different classes.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Law Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App