Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Misdemeanor Or Felony - How Bad Is It?

If you have been charged with a crime, one of the first questions you might have is how serious a penalty you might be facing.  On Maui, and in all of Hawaii, there are several different categories of crimes.

A felony is the most serious crime that you can be charged with.  Felonies have a maximum possible penalty of more than a year in prison.  Felonies are usually labeled as Class A, B or C with Class A being the most serious.  Examples of Class A felonies are kidnapping, arson and rape.  Class B and C felonies have lower maximum possible prison terms but are still considered to be serious crimes.  Murder and attempted murder are listed only as felonies and not placed in a particular class. 

A misdemeanor has a maximum jail sentence of one year.  Examples of misdemeanors in Hawaii are driving under the influence, disorderly conduct and third degree theft.  A crime can also be a petty misdemeanor which has a maximum possible jail sentence of 30 days.  An example of a petty misdemeanor is fourth degree theft, which is a theft of less than $300.

For more information on how crimes are classified click on the following link to the Hawaii statute listing different levels of crimes.  

On Maui there are also violations, which have even lower penalties.  Violations are not considered crimes and include motor vehicle violations such as speeding and improper parking. 

No comments:

Post a Comment