Most state’s criminal law systems separate their crimes into three different categories—infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. How a crime is categorized will usually depend on its severity. If you were charged with an offense, it’s important to understand how it’s classified.
What You Need to Know About Infractions, Misdemeanors, & Felonies
Infractions are minor offenses, like speeding and jaywalking, that don’t result in any jail time. With this type of violation, a police officer will typically hand you a ticket, and you will have to pay a fine. However, if you don’t pay your fine, it could lead to additional penalties, including a court appearance or jail time.
Misdemeanors are more serious than infractions but less serious than felonies. Individuals charged with misdemeanors face fines, probation, and up to a year in jail. Common types of misdemeanors include petty theft, simple assault, trespassing, and public intoxication. However, Indiana’s Second Chance Law allows some misdemeanors to be hidden from a criminal history check after eight years.
Felonies carry prison sentences of a year or more and usually involve crimes that pose serious harm to victims, like rape, murder, burglary, and kidnapping. However, felonies also include white collar crimes, such as embezzlement, securities fraud, and money laundering. Based on their severity, there are six levels of felonies in Indiana, and a criminal law attorney can help you understand your options.
When You Should Hire Legal Help
If you were charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it’s in your best interest to consult with an attorney who specializes in criminal law. A criminal conviction can carry consequences beyond jail time, including loss of employment. A lawyer will discuss your legal options with you and ensure your rights are protected. They’ll work hard to reduce your penalties and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
The attorneys at Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP in Fishers, IN, have more than 20 years of combined experience in criminal law and are dedicated to providing their clients with top-quality legal services. These legal professionals also have experience in other areas of the law, including civil litigation, personal injury, and debt collection. They are happy to offer in-home consultations and flexible scheduling. Call (317) 576-8580 or visit their website to schedule a consultation with attorney Mario Massillamany.