When it comes to understanding the law and how everything is broken down, you will notice that there are classifications for everything. There are categories, subcategories, and so on and so forth. Classifying crime is no different. Each crime, such as murder, robbery, destruction of property, assault, etc., can be classified into a few different groups. Each classification has its own guidelines to properly categorize crimes. While many judges use their own wisdom and experience to judge accordingly, these guidelines are the basis for how crimes are graded.
Typically there are four classifications. From the most severe to the least, these categories include felonies, misdemeanors, felony-misdemeanors, and infractions. Grading a crime will depend on the severity of the crime, such as murder, as well as the severity of the punishment, such as life in prison.
Felonies – A felony usually has a heinous intent or has extreme results. For instance, someone might have the full intention to kill someone, or someone could be driving drunk and accidentally kill someone. Depending on the location, these crimes could be subject to all possible punishments, from a heavy fine to execution. Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Missouri, and Oklahoma all still have the death penalty.
Misdemeanors – This is a less serious classification, however, they are not without their serious consequences. These crimes are typically less extreme than felonies and can have much lesser results. In other words, if someone gets pulled over for a DUI but does not cause any injury or property damage, and it is their first offense, the crime could be classified as a misdemeanor. They may still have to pay upwards of $2,000 dollars, but they may not have any jail or prison time.
Felony-Misdemeanors – This classification may seem odd, but it basically means that the judge (or sometimes the prosecutor) could rule the offense as either or. The judgment will be centered around the circumstances and intent. An example of this crime could be an assault with a deadly weapon.
Infractions – Infractions are the least severe of crimes. These could be traffic violations, jaywalking, etc. These crimes usually result in a traffic ticket, small fines of a few hundred dollars, or possible driver’s education of some kind.
Do These Classifications Affect Your Ability to Be Granted Bail?
The severity of the crime most definitely affects someone’s ability to get bail as well as what type of bond they may need. The point of bail is to ensure that a defendant shows up to court. These classifications may also determine the type of bond you may need. For example, a felony charge may require a federal bond. Someone who commits a misdemeanor may be able to get a personal bond or a cash bond. However, there can be a lot of variables that can determine a) whether or not a defendant is granted bail and b) what type of bond they may need.
ASAP Bail Bonds can help a defendant determine which bond they need. Our business is available 24/7, and we proudly serve Harris County, Fort Bend, and several others. Give us a call today or apply online for a free quote.