Criminal Law: What You Should Know About Infractions

When it comes to criminal cases, there are three main classifications: an infraction, a misdemeanor, and a felony. Infractions are considered minor crimes and don't result in jail time in most cases. Also called petty crimes, infractions often involve parking and noise violations. Here is more information about infractions and how to decide if you need legal representation.

How is an Infraction Different From a Misdemeanor?

The severity of the crime is the biggest difference between an infraction and misdemeanor. With an infraction, it is extremely rare that you would go to jail. However, many misdemeanors result in jail time. A misdemeanor is a crime against property, a person, or public safety. Some examples of misdemeanors include assault and battery, harassment, shoplifting, and disorderly conduct. Jail time for misdemeanors vary, though it is typically less than a year. Jail time longer than that is usually for a felony.

What Types of Crimes Are Considered Infractions?

Some of the most common infraction crimes are moving violations, though noise violations and parking violations are also considered infractions. Being pulled over for speeding or having the police called on you due to having a loud party would be infractions. There are also some infractions that are considered more serious and might require help from a criminal law attorney. Some of the more serious infractions are excessive speeding that put others at considerable risk, street racing, and driving without car insurance. Street racing is sometimes considered a misdemeanor and may lead to jail time.

What Are the Potential Punishments for Infractions?

The punishment for infractions depend on the type of offense and whether or not it is a repeated offense. For example, if you were driving without car insurance one time, you might pay a fine and have your car towed. If you do this more than once, you could have your driver's license suspended. Most infractions require fines to be paid and nothing further, though the circumstances could cause other consequences. In some cases, you might also need to do community service or spend a few days in jail.

While an infraction is a minor offense, it is still a good idea to hire a criminal attorney from a law firm such as Kaiser Law Group. They are able to provide legal advice and help reduce the fines you pay. They can also help keep you out of jail if you are arrested for a more serious infraction that is at risk of becoming a misdemeanor.