- A major crime; considered more impactful to public safely
- May be fined, imprisoned, or both; in some states death; sometimes have to pay victim or the victim's family
- Examples: murder, robbery, drug abuse, DUI, assault, property theft, sale to minors, forgery or counterfeit, domestic or child abuse
- A less serious crime.
- May be fined, serve jail time in small county jail, or both
- Maximum jail time is less than a year
- Iowa: jail time up to two years
- Examples: driving without a license, shoplifting, trespassing, simple assault, hate crimes, drug possession.
- A minor offense usually punishable with a fine and not with jail time, unless you've done it many times and decide you need to be jailed
- Also called "minor misdemeanors" or "petty crimes"
- Examples: minor traffic violations (speeding), city ordinances violations, fishing without a license.