Types of Criminal Defense Charges

When it comes to crimes, different crimes are classified into different categories depending on their severity. Everything from speeding or running a stop sign to committing a larger crime — like harming or killing another person — are punishable in different ways.

Today, our expert team of defense attorneys are here to help you better understand the different criminal offenses, and what the repercussions for those actions could be. 

When it comes to criminal charges, don’t go to court without proper representation. Find a team of defense attorneys here to help you through the entire process, whether you’re being convicted of a minor infraction or a serious felony. Schedule a consultation with our defense attorneys at Cavett, Abbot & Weiss in Chattanooga today!


The type of charge you receive depends on the type and severity of your crime. Those can range from minor infractions to more serious felonies. But our team of defense attorneys can help you with a wide range of criminal charges. 


Minor infractions, also known as “petty offenses” are acts that are punishable by fines or other repercussions but are not usually punishable by jail time. Traffic infractions are the most common form of minor infractions. 

For Example: A minor infraction could be if a person receives a speeding ticket and decides to take that speeding ticket to court. If that person is still proven guilty of speeding, the punishment is limited to a fine and a point off their driver’s license because the crime is a minor infraction. 


Misdemeanors are a more serious criminal charge than minor fractions. These types of offenses can carry up to a year of jail time. But they are also punishable by fines, probation, restitution, and community service. A person charged with a misdemeanors is entitled to a jury trial to determine their guilt. More serious misdemeanors are also known as “gross misdemeanors.” 

For Example: A person who committed a simple assault can be tried for a misdemeanor. A crime like that could carry a $1,000 fine and six month of jail time. 


Felonies are the most serious type of criminal offense that can be committed. These crimes involve serious bodily harm to another person in addition to fraud or white collar crimes. For a second-time offender, a misdemeanor could be elevated to a felony. Just like with a misdemeanor, a felony doesn’t always end up punishable by jail time, but it can. 

Depending on the class or degree of the specific felony, the punishment could range from time in prison all the way to life in prison. 

For Example: A person could be convicted of a felony assault using a deadly weapon. Even if that victim was not injured, that person can still be charged with a felony and found guilty for the intention of that behavior. 



We hope that this post helped you better understand the difference between being charged with a “minor infraction,” “misdemeanor,” and a “felony.” If you’re recently been charged with a crime and are looking for legal representation, choose Cavett, Abbot & Weiss in Chattanooga as your defense attorneys today. Contact our law office for a consultation and we’ll get started on your defense today. 

Still want to learn more about criminal defense and better understand when you need a team of defense attorneys on your side? Make sure you follow our blog to learn more about criminal defense and what is involved in the defense and litigation process: 

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