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Classifications of crimes in Louisiana

It sounds awkward, but it makes sense. The dividing line between misdemeanors and felonies in Louisiana is any crime that is not a felony is a misdemeanor. The state's definition for a felony is a crime that warrants a sentence of imprisonment at hard labor or death.

For most people, imprisonment refers to any type of captivity. Baton Rouge defendants are placed behind bars following convictions for some misdemeanor charges and felony charges. However, many misdemeanor sentences include jail time at a county facility rather than a term in a state prison.

In most states, the boundary between misdemeanors and felonies is the amount of time a defendant is incarcerated. Misdemeanors result in confinement for less than a year, while felony convictions lead to imprisonment of one year or longer. Consequently, misdemeanors are considered minor crimes compared to felonies but, make no mistake. Some penalties associated with misdemeanors are very unpleasant.

A traffic ticket is not a misdemeanor -- the citation you receive for parking in a no-parking zone is the allegation of a minor offense attached to a fine. You must respond to the citation by paying the fine or appearing in court. Failure to do one or the other may result in a warrant for your arrest.

The designation of a crime as an infraction, a misdemeanor or a felony is included in the individual descriptions of Louisiana laws. Within those definitions, in some states, you may find different classes of the same crime, like a "Class A" or "Class 1" felony. These classes would indicate the crime is far more serious than a "Class F" or "Class 6" charge.

Felonies are considered society's most serious crimes like some sex crimes, kidnapping and murder. It's worth mentioning again punishments for misdemeanor offenses can be extremely detrimental to a defendant's personal and professional life. Take misdemeanor charges seriously – seek our advice.

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