Crimes Against People and Property
If you have been charged with a crime, you may be angry, confused, frightened or all three at the same time. Most people find the criminal justice system confusing and rely on the help of a criminal defense attorney both to explain the complicated procedures related to this type of court proceeding and to help them protect their rights.
While financial crimes are actually more common, most people immediately think of crimes against people and property when they hear the term “criminal court.” Most crimes against people or property are very minor and are classed as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is a relatively minor crime that often results in no jail time, although a judge can sentence you to up to a year in prison for a misdemeanor count. In most cases, misdemeanors are settled by allowing the accused person to pay a fine and agree to a certain term of probation.
However, there is another class of crime known as a felony, and these acts are considered much more serious than misdemeanors. Felonies include violent crimes that hurt others and non-violent crimes that result in substantial financial losses. Certain misdemeanors may also become felonies if the person is convicted multiple times of the same offense.
The most common serious crimes against people and property are:
- Assault/battery. Hitting or threatening another person is usually a felony, although a minor verbal threat may be classified as a misdemeanor.
- Murder. Taking someone else’s life is always a felony, although intent plays a large role in how a murder is charged. Manslaughter is the unintentional taking of someone’s life while engaged in reckless or illegal behavior.
- Rape. Sexual assaults and crimes up to and including rape are usually felonies.
- Arson. Deliberately burning down property is often a felony and may involve not only financial restitution but jail time and fines.
- Robbery. Taking something by force from someone else is robbery and is considered a felony whether or not a weapon is involved.
- Burglary. Breaking into a home or business is a felony even if the overall value of what is stolen is very small.
A criminal defense attorney may represent those who are accused of serious crimes that could result in a long jail sentence, probation and heavy fines. Call today for a free consultation to determine the best way to handle your criminal defense and avoid serious legal consequences.