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A civil offense is anything that would incur a penalty such as a fine and is not technically termed a “crime.”
A crime, on the other hand, is any violation of the law that is punishable by a fine or a jail sentence. There are obviously degrees or classes of crime, which include misdemeanors and felonies.
A crime that might invoke the penalty of a fine could be something such as breaking a noise ordinance or anything else that does not result in the injury of another person or their property.
Misdemeanors, however, under criminal law can include jail sentences and fines. Usually any jail sentence that is imposed with regard to a misdemeanor is one year or less.
Felony convictions can bring at least a year if not more time in prison and fines up to $100,000.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|