In California, a crime or a public offense is defined as an act committed or omitted in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it, which can be punished upon conviction with either death, imprisonment, fine, removal from office or disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit in California. The criminal law in California is very severe and it largely covers three broad areas. These will be highlighted in this article and it might also be advisable to consult qualified lawyers or legal practitioners or even consult online archival resources for insights into what constitutes crimes in the state of California. There are three broad categories to which crimes are divided in California and these will be examined briefly now:
a. Infractions: Since infractions are neither punishable with death like other crimes in California, nor offenders imprisoned, many people do not want to see it categorized as a crime. People convicted with infractions are either made to pay a heavy fine, or removed from office and may further be barred from holding a future office if the offender is found to have grossly run afoul of the laws.
b. misdemeanor : This is a little more severe in punishing offenders than in cases of infractions. Under this offense, a person may be jailed between 6 months and one year and he may also be made to pay an additional fine of between one thousand dollars and two thousand dollars. But in some cases, the offender may be asked only to pay fines or he may be asked to go to jail only, depending on the county where the offense is committed.
c. Felonies: In felonies, the offender is served a more severe punishment than if he had committed an infraction or misdemeanor. He may be imprisoned for a long time or be given a life sentence and he may even be put to death. The offender may serve his jail term in a state facility and he may be moved to a county jail to serve his term. Meanwhile, the offender may be given probation instead of a jail term when he could meet the stringent conditions imposed on him. The stringent conditions may be so tough as to be proportional to his crime and it may be more than his crime, depending on the futuristic considerations of the judge in relation to the offender and his ability to offend again.
The California criminal laws are not something to be toyed with, most especially when it involves an incidence with a peace officer or an institution of the state. You must always consult your legal advisor when you are not sure of the legal implications of your actions or what you are about to do, and you must never walk on the tight rope of the law. The California criminal law is both for citizens and non-citizens alike, and as much as you are within the confines of the state when you have committed your offense, then the laws of California is binding on you.