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    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Felony, Misdemeanor, Infraction (Only the start of a convoluted set of laws)

    You see the title of the blog. These are the categories of local law. The categories contain the convoluted mess of laws that police officers enforce.

    A short explanation of the categories:

    Felony - Everyone probably knows that felonies are the more serious crimes. They usually encompass crimes against the person that are either violent or potentially violent. The offenses can range from drunk driving (Yes, that's right!), battery (When one person strikes another)that involves serious injury, robbery, burglary, reckless homicide, causing permanent disfigurement by hitting someone with your stiletto, etc. Murder is not a felony. It is it's own category.

    Misdemeanor - These are geared more toward crimes against property and society at large. Criminal mischief (vandalism), shoplifting, leaving the scene of an accident, etc. Less serious battery and drunk driving offenses, reckless driving, public intoxication, etc. also fall in this category. Mae West once said, "I consider sex a misdemeanor - the more I miss, de meaner I get". I've never seen anyone get arrested for this...

    Infractions - These are your traffic tickets. Some alcohol offenses committed by underaged drinkers are also infractions.

    I haven't even touched the surface. I'll explain more in future blogs. You will find out that the system of laws is very complicated. Even attorneys with huge law libraries and paralegals to do research have difficulty keeping up.

    Among the things not to say to a police officer: "I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer". :-)

    Let's be careful out there.






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