Criminal Defense Lawyers Colorado Springs
Criminal law is a broad category of state and federal laws that have punitive consequences such as fines, penalties and prison time. What separates criminal law from civil law is that civil law involves disputes or conflicts between people, whereas criminal law involves violations of criminal ordinances. In the U.S., criminal law is divided into felonies, misdemeanors and infractions, and what may be a felony in one state may be a misdemeanor in another state.
Felonies are the most serious class of criminal offense, and can include actions such as murder, aggravated assault, burglary and sexual assault. Punishments for felonies usually include a prison sentence. Misdemeanors are less serious crimes, and typically result in a fine or probation. An infraction is a civil offense or the violation of a local code, and can include traffic tickets, littering, jay walking, public intoxication, and disturbing the peace.
Common Types of Criminal Charges
Although there are multiple types of criminal charges, there a select few that prosecutors seem to file more often, including:
- Murder – Criminal law establishes two main classes of murder: first degree and second degree. First-degree murder is reserved for people who are accused of committing a premeditated killing. Second-degree murder is a killing that isn’t premeditated but is intentional.
- Manslaughter – Manslaughter is a lesser charge than murder, and is classified as either voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is a killing that a person did voluntarily, usually in the grip of passion. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a defendant kills a victim without intending to do so, usually due to reckless behavior.
- Drug Possession/Distribution – Depending on the amount of drugs a person has when they are arrested, the criminal charge can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. But in most instances, a person who is caught selling drugs or intending to sell drugs usually faces more serious charges, especially if that person is selling drugs to minors.
- Drug Manufacturing – If a defendant is caught with chemicals and equipment that is used to make drugs, or a laboratory is found in a defendant’s home, that person is charged with drug manufacturing, which is a serious felony. A common defense to this criminal charge is proving that the defendant was authorized or permitted to possess chemicals used to manufacture drugs.
- Assault – An assault is defined as the intention of a person to intimidate or create fear in another person of imminent harm. An assault doesn’t always have a physical element, but when a person uses a weapon to strike or injure a victim, he or she is charged with aggravated assault, a felony that can have serious consequences.
- Battery – Battery is often charged in an assault case, and occurs when a person intentionally, offensively or harmfully touches another person. The key to a battery charge is determining whether the accused had the intent to make contact with or actually contact the victim without the victim’s consent.
- Burglary – When a person enters a building or other type of structure without permission, and with the intention of committing some type of crime, that is known as burglary. That means a person can be charged with burglary if they unlawfully entered a property without intending to actually steal items in that property. In fact, defendants are often charged with burglary even if they didn’t take any items from the premises.
Finding An Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyer
After you are arrested on a criminal charge, it is important that you immediately secure the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can mount an aggressive defense on your behalf. At Kinnaird & Kinnaird, P.C, we have the resources and expertise to help you.