DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CIVIL INFRACTIONS, MISDEMEANORS AND FELONIES?
CIVIL INFRACTION: A civil infraction is a minor violation. Many traffic violations are civil infractions, such as speeding and running a red light. The punishment for a civil infraction is usually a fine. The fine may be a modest amount of money, but there are often collateral consequences to being found responsible. For example, you have receive an insurance surcharge is the case of a moving violation. That surcharge can increase your insurance payment. Also, depending on the infraction, you could get a license suspension triggered based on a civil violation which can be destabilizing to someone who needs a vehicle to drive to work and or school. So, although minor violations are not criminal, they should be examined closely and defended. A civil infraction does not have guilt or innocence attached to it. When someone is charged with a civil infraction, the court declares the person either RESPONSIBLE or NOT RESPONSIBLE. There is NO GUILT or INNOCENCE attached to a civil infraction.
MISDEMEANORS: If the punishment does not include the possibility of state prison time, it is a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are the more common criminal offenses. Such as assault and battery, shoplifting, drinking and drinking and the like. Misdemeanors are a criminal offense and a person can go to jail, in some cases for up to 2.5 years for each misdemeanor offense.
FELONIES: Any crime punishable by confinement in a State prison are felonies; all other crimes are misdemeanors. Although most crimes are misdemeanors, there are many common crimes that are categorized as felonies. Some more common crimes that are felonies include Larceny over $250.00, Malicious Destruction of Property over $250.00, Assault and Battery (with a Dangerous Weapon). The more common felonies that people refer to when discussing felonies also include the more well-known criminal offenses such as murder, arson, rape, drunk driving 3rd or more offense, kidnapping, etc. ###