According to our federal government, the three categories of crimes are infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies…
1. An infraction is a minor crime such as a traffic ticket resulting in payment of a fine.
2. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction, and may require jail time of less than a year in addition to a fine.
3. A felony is the worst kind of crime such as rape or murder. Crimes are established at the local, state, and federal levels and laws differ from state to state.
Other factors that are considered in determining proper punishment are criminal history, and the manner in which the crime was committed. The judge will consider aggravating circumstances such as cruelty, malice, intent, reckless disregard for the well-being of another, and if the act was committed against a protected class such as a minority, senior citizen, minor, or a handicapped person.
The United States has laws to protect you if you are accused of a crime and arrested. In 1966 The Supreme Court ruled in the case Miranda v. Arizona that police must read the suspects their rights before arresting them. These are the words we have all heard so many times on television and in the movies:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. If you decide to answer questions now without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.”
Also, the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us from illegal search and seizure by police. They must be able to prove probable cause that you committed a crime before a search. This protects your right to privacy. If police fail to follow proper procedures during your arrest, a good criminal defense lawyer will be able to prove violation of your rights.
If you are accused of a crime and arrested, it is imperative that you remain silent until you can talk to a qualified, experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney.
Contact Brandon Marinoff at Marinoff and Associates, P.C., Attorneys at Law.
Call 720-621-7635 for FREE consultation immediately.