What Are The 2 Types Of Criminal Law?

Friday 03rd Jun 2022 |

The objective of the law is to distinguish as clearly as possible between acceptable and undesirable behavior in a given community.

Criminal law refers to both the body of rules controlling the conduct of persons within a jurisdiction and the operation of criminal proceedings.

Even for many attorneys, the criminal process may be challenging to navigate due to its complexity. Because of this, persons accused of committing major crimes should only leave their cases to seasoned criminal justice law attorneys with a track record of success. 

A crime is defined as any conduct punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. In the United States, the federal congress or a state legislature determines whether conduct is illegal. Typically, these are actions deemed undesirable by most of a society’s members.

The two forms of criminal law that exist today are often misinterpreted. What are these two distinct categories of criminal law, and how do they differ?

There are two sorts of criminal law

There are two primary categories of criminal offenses: felonies and misdemeanors. The possible consequence of committing these two crimes defines the distinction between them.


A felony is a type of criminal law that carries a sentence of incarceration of more than one year. Examples of usual crimes include treason, murder, rape, and kidnapping. Other examples of felonies include rape and abduction.


A misdemeanor is a felony punished by a maximum of one year in jail. Typical instances of misdemeanors include petty theft, DUI, and possession of alcohol.

A felony is typically seen as a severe crime, but a misdemeanor is considered a lesser offense. Other crimes were referred to as misdemeanors. A misdemeanor is an infraction deemed less severe than a felony, a more severe kind of crime. The term “misdemeanor” was used to apply to other types of offenses. A crime that resulted in confiscating a person’s land and property and other penalties, including the death sentence, might be referred to as a “félonie” in medieval France. The term originated in English common law and described an offense that resulted in a person’s conviction.

A convicted felon is a person who has been convicted of a crime in a court of law. Crimes are no longer categorized as felonies or misdemeanors in several common law countries and jurisdictions. Instead, they are classified as indictable offenses and summary offenses.

In the United States, a crime classified as a felony by the federal government may result in a sentence of incarceration that is longer than one year or even the death penalty. As long as the maximum term for the offense is less than one year, it’s a minor crime.

The classification is based on the prospective term; thus, even if a person convicted of a felony gets a sentence of one year or less, the offense remains classified as a felony. States may categorize crimes based on additional variables, such as severity or circumstance.

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