Criminal law generally refers to illegal behavior punishable by incarceration and fines. Whereas a civil case consists of two individuals disputing their rights a criminal trial is seen as the people as a whole against an individual. Both the state and federal government can decide what actions constitute a crime. As such, criminal law can vary widely from state to state.
There are two categorized levels of severity regarding criminal behavior.
Misdemeanors are typically defined as punishable by up to a year in prison. They can be further subdivided into gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. Each, respectively, carries a reduced sentence.
Felonies are incredibly serious crimes. They typically carry sentences greater than one year that are to be carried out in state prisons. There are classes of felonies, much like misdemeanors, that impact the terms of the punishment based on severity. Class “A” would be considered for life in prison (or death) while a class “D” felony would simply be between five and ten years in a state prison.
It would be incredibly ill-advised to face criminal prosecution without a defense attorney. A defense attorney can defend you outright from prosecution if warranted and can otherwise negotiate a myriad of factors regarding punishment. Humblias Law has an abundance of experience defending those who have faced a prosecutor.