Criminal offenses fall under seven categories and vary depending on severity and circumstance. Under these, an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Serious Traffic Violations: Major traffic charges include super speeder, reckless driving, Driving Under the Influence, Driving on a Suspended License, Driving Without a License, Passing a School Bus, Speeding in a School Zone, etc. Convictions can amount to heightened penalties and repeat violators can be charged with felonies, as can offenders that cause severe bodily injury or death of another person.
- Property Crimes: Misdemeanors involving another’s property of any kind, that result in harm of three hundred dollars or less. Includes, shoplifting, criminal trespass, theft by taking, criminal destruction of property, theft by receiving. More serious property crimes, such as burglary, arson, forgery, or robbery are felonies.
- Sex Crimes: Misdemeanor sex crimes include sexual battery, indecent exposure, and pandering. Felony sex crimes include child molestation, possession of child pornography, and rape.
- Violent Crimes: Any act of violence toward another person, including mental, physical, verbal threats, or contact are misdemeanor violent crimes. This included battery, assault, and stalking. Felonies include manslaughter, murder, and aggravated assault.
- Drug Crimes: Drug crimes include manufacture, distribution, possession, and the sale of illegal drugs. Whether a crime is a misdemeanor or a felony is determined by the amount of drugs involved and the intent of the use of the drugs.
- Crimes Against Public Order or Administration: Include crimes involving a public official, government body, or a breach of public peace fall. These involve public drunkenness, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct.
- Domestic Violence Crimes: Domestic violence crimes are misdemeanors that are treated like felonies when the offense is against a spouse, child, or close family member. These charges cannot be dismissed once the prosecution has begun and punishment depends on the crime severity.