The criminal justice system varies significantly from state to state. Therefore, when you are accused of a crime, it is important that you understand the legal consequences based on the state that you are in so that you can successfully defend yourself.
There are three types of criminal charges in New York, and these three types vary in severity. They can also be split into subcategories, which denote varying degrees of seriousness. Often, a successful defense will be able to lower the seriousness of a conviction, so that it is further down on the scale, and therefore, carries less severe consequences.
What are violations?
A violation is the least serious type of charge in New York. A person may face a violation if they engage in disorderly conduct or trespass on property, for example.
What are misdemeanors?
A misdemeanor is a charge that can lead to between 16 days and one-year imprisonment. A person charged with a misdemeanor may be charged with a Class A, Class B or an Unclassified misdemeanor.
What are felonies?
A felony is the most serious type of crime that a person can commit. It is divided into several subcategories that denote the severity of the crime. Felonies are very wide-ranging in terms of the possible punishments a convicted person may be subject to. A less serious felony might result in probation, whereas a serious felony such as drug trafficking or murder could lead to life imprisonment.
If you need to defend yourself from a criminal accusation, you should not delay taking action. Preparation and knowledge are keys to a successful defense.