Skip to Content

Types of Criminal Charges


It’s often difficult for a layperson to navigate the legal system. Various types of criminal charges result in consequences that might stay with you for a lifetime. Besides that, make a mistake in your defense, and you may have to go to jail. Having a basic understanding of the legal system can help save you from lifelong consequences.

The Biggest Difference Between the Types of Criminal Charges

You can put criminal charges into two basic categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Typically, misdemeanors result in short-term jail sentences or fines. With a criminal defense team on your side, it’s possible to avoid jail and instead receive a probationary term. Examples of offenses falling under this heading include:

  • Trespassing
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism

Felonies are offenses that the legal system determines to be more serious. They may result in prison terms as well as fines. The types of criminal charges that fall under this heading include:

  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault
  • Gun crimes

A conviction has far-reaching consequences that can also affect your ability to obtain a security clearance or qualify for specific jobs.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

You want to save money. However, this doesn’t mean that you should go it alone. Even a small paperwork mistake can result in jail time when you might have otherwise qualified for probation.

Your freedom and future are on the line, so this isn’t the time to rely on yourself. Here’s what could happen when you hire an attorney:

  • A free initial consultation informs you of your rights and legal obligations
  • Flat fees for the majority of general criminal charges help you understand what to expect
  • Meeting with an attorney before you go to court lets you know what to expect and how to act
  • Assistance with finding a bail bondsman gets you out of jail if you need to turn yourself in
  • Avoiding a criminal record protects your rights and ability to find certain jobs in the future

Do Juveniles Need an Attorney?

Your age doesn’t protect you from the consequences of the allegations. The goal here is to keep the case out of the court entirely. Avoiding prosecution protects you from having a criminal record. Furthermore, it could also result in a more lenient consequence.

However, if your case does go to court, you need the best defense possible. Adult or juvenile, you have a lot to lose if a judge or jury finds you guilty. Also, dealing with these kinds of criminal charges is frequently difficult for a young person. Having a defense lawyer there that helps with the case is an invaluable source of comfort.

Find out How to Defend Your Case Today

Finally, no matter what types of criminal charges you’re dealing with, there’s help. The attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake understand that you’re worried, scared, and need guidance. They work with you to help you understand what’s happening and how to proceed. Call (410) 927-5137 for immediate assistance.