When one speaks of serious crimes, it is understood to be the following crimes, to wit: murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, treason and robbery.
These are the usual crimes which will come to mind when one encounters the term “criminal offences”. These are crimes where the unlawful acts are directed against persons and the penalties imposed upon conviction on these crimes are severe like imprisonment for a certain period of time or life sentence, fines, and payments of damages corresponding to the amount incurred of the offended party as expenses or litigation costs.
Lesser offences on the other hand, are exemplified by identity theft, fraud, tax evasion, cybercrimes, domestic violence and money laundering among others. The penalties imposed of course for these crimes are less severe compared to that imposed for serious offences. Sometimes, the penalty will only be fines and additional amount as damages.
Penalties are categorized into four, and these are
a). Monetary penalty and charges
c). good behavior and community service and
d). periodic and home detention.
In rendering the penalty to be imposed upon conviction of the criminal offender, Courts take into accounts the applicable provisions of State and Commonwealth Acts. Although the offences committed are the same, decisions and penalties imposed differ from state to state.
Fines which is a form of penalty is commonly prescribed in certain state, while monetary penalty on the other hand is carefully and seldom imposed in Federal crimes as it is a sanction for offences involving the use of money such as inside trading, tax evasion, money laundering, swindling or embezzlement, cybercrime and identity theft.
In the imposition of fines, unit is used where one unit is equivalent to $110 for individual and $550 for a corporation. In the imposition of the maximum fines, the statute or Acts prescribing the same must be strictly followed. When the offended party in a certain crime is a government agency or entity, said entity may levy other charges in connection with the commission of the offence.
The convicted offender may also be required to pay additional amount to answer for the expenses incurred by the offending party or as damages incurred by her or him in connection with the commission of the offence.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.