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Give Me a Low Five - Research Paper Example

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Most have heard of a top ten list, but how about a low five list? That is what we can consider the five general categories of crime, which are 1) offenses, 2) misdemeanors, 3) inchoate offenses, 4) felonies, and 5) treason and espionage. …
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Give Me a Low Five
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Download file to see previous pages Virtually any criminal crime one can think of will fall under one of these categories, and to understand their significance and role in criminal law, an ensuing in-depth examination of each will take place.
Let us first explore crimes known as offenses. These acts of indiscretion, also known as infractions, carry the lowest degree of penalties, often issued in the form of tickets with relatively low fines. Minor violations in this category today are parking violations, jaywalking, speeding tickets, and littering, and about a millennia ago, when common law as we know it was in its early stages in England, trivial offenses in this category were handled by the English Court of Common Pleas − that handled petty cases on which the king did not want to waste his time (Baker, 2002). Itinerant judges traveling between towns would try such minor crimes at various circuits, hence the term, “common law.” Today, these lower crimes, usually called summary offenses, “are often tried at the lowest level of the judicial system, usually before a district magistrate or justice of the peace, and often use a streamlined procedure,” (Davenport, 2008, p. 9). If convicted, one can receive a prison sentence, usually under 90 days, and can expect to pay a fine, as well. Such cases are typically devoid of the safeguards – like a jury trial −extended to those charged with greater crimes, (Ibid.). ...
Crimes falling under the banner of misdemeanor today include falsifying crime reports, driving under the influence, and disorderly conduct. Those convicted can be sentenced to up to a year in prison, but a penalty of a fine or probation is more likely (Ibid.). Misdemeanors are usually tried in local city or county courts with an arraignment charging the violator being scheduled within 15 days ? this is followed by a pre-trial hearing to set the case status; then a possible motions hearing to withhold physical evidence so that the case can be dismissed might be slated; and next is the trial, including jury selection and instructions, open statements, examination of witnesses, closing statements, and the verdict; while the last stage of being tried is usually the sentencing hearing, where fines (usually up to $5,000 and/or jail time up to one year) are issued (The Misdemeanor Criminal Process). Inchoate (or incomplete) crimes are offenses that have not yet been completed. Such crimes were traditionally considered misdemeanors, but today, they are viewed closer to felonies in severity and scope (Robinson, Gaeta, Majarian, Schultz, & Douglas, 2010). Back under common law centuries ago, the three subdivisions of inchoate crimes of conspiracy, attempt, and solicitation were devised in order to stem actual crimes before they came to fruition (Stevens, 2003). Conspiracy, the most publicized of the three, consists of an arrangement by one or more persons to commit a criminal act, where an obvious attempt to move forward in the crime has been witnessed. A person committing this offense may be tried in any county that is considered to be an element of the offense, and the doctrine of inchoate crimes must be applied during the trial, which calls for four things: 1) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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