18/10/17 Crime, Offenses, Felonies and Misdemeanors
A crime is a wrongdoing classified by the state or Congress as a felony or misdemeanor.
A crime is an offense against a public law. This word, in its most general sense, includes all offenses, but in its more limited sense is confined to felony.
The term offense may be considered as having the same meaning, but is usually understood to be a crime not indictable but punishable, summarily or by the forfeiture of a penalty.
A felony is a serious crime punishable by at least one year in prison. Some family law felonies include kidnapping and custodial interference (in some states).
People convicted of felonies lose certain rights, such as the right to vote or hold public office. During the term of sentence, the convicted person may also be prohibited from making contracts, marrying, suing or keeping certain professional licenses. Upon release from prison, the convict may also be required to register with the police.
A misdemeanor is a crime for which the punishment is usually a fine and/or up to one year in a county jail. Often a crime which is a misdemeanor for the first offense becomes a felony for repeated offenses. All crimes that are not felonies are misdemeanors.
Crimes are defined and punished by statutes and by the common law. Most common law offences are as well known and as precisely ascertained as those which are defined by statutes; yet, from the difficulty of exactly defining and describing every act which ought to be punished, the vital and preserving principle has been adopted; that all immoral acts which tend to the prejudice of the community are punishable by courts of justice.