Classifications of Laws, Crimes, and Punishments:

     This page is continued from Criminal Law Self-Help:


court rules – regulations having the force of law and governing practice and procedure in the various courts.

ordinance – an authoritative law or decree; specifically, a municipal regulation, especially one that forbids or restricts an activity.

statute – a legislation (aka act or law) enacted by any lawmaking body, such as a legislature, administrative board, or municipal court.

Varying Degrees of Crimes:

felony – a serious crime usually punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death. (i.e. burglary, arson, rape, murder, treason, robbery, larceny). — aka major crime; serious crime.

misdemeanor – a crime less serious than a felony, usually punishable by fine, penalty, forfeiture, or confinement (usually a brief term) in jail (rather than prison). — aka minor crime; summary offense.

infraction – a violation, usually of a rule, regulation, or local ordinance, not punishable by incarceration.


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