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What are the Different Types of Criminal Law?

Criminal law refers to crimes, which are actions determined by laws which are put in place by different state governments and/or by the overarching US federal government. If you are being charged with committing a crime, speak to our San Diego criminal defense lawyer today.

In California, if someone engages in criminal activity, they may be tried and prosecuted in a criminal court, being found “guilty” or “not guilty” by a jury of their peers (i.e. random US citizens serving jury duty). Our San Diego criminal attorney can easily help protect you in the event of a criminal trial.

There are several different types of crime in the US, though they can generally be divided into 4 major categories – Personal Crimes, Property Crimes, Inchoate Crimes, and Statutory Crimes. Here we give you a quick rundown of each category and its associated crimes as defined by United States criminal law.


These offenses are ones that cause harm, physically or mentally, to another person. these offenses include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual offenses – such as rape, statutory rape (sex with a minor), sexual assault etc.
  • Homicide – causing the death of another person, whether by first-degree murder, second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter or vehicular homicide. First-degree murder refers to premeditated murder, whereas second-degree refers to a murder committed without forethought. Involuntary manslaughter refers to “accidentally” killing someone, while vehicular homicide refers to killing someone due to dangerous driving or vehicle negligence.

If you have committed a personal crime, get in touch with a San Diego criminal defense attorney today.


These crimes typically refer to interfering with someone’s ability to use their private property as they wish.

  • Theft (aka Larceny)
  • Robbery – theft which uses force. This can also be considered a personal crime if it harms someone in the process.
  • Burglary
  • Arson
  • Embezzlement
  • False pretenses
  • Forgery
  • Receipt of stolen goods

Do you need a San Diego criminal lawyer for a property crimes case? Contact us today for reliable legal representation.


These are crimes which are attempted or incomplete in some way, meaning that crimes were begun (substantially) but not completed.

  • Attempt – things like attempted robbery, where the robbery commenced but was not successful
  • Solicitation
  • Conspiracy

Do you know someone who is being charged with an inchoate crime? We’re a San Diego criminal defense lawyer team who can help!


These involve violating specific state or federal statutes. Most often they are related to personal crimes and property crimes.

  • Alcohol-related crimes – such as DUI (Driving Under the Influence or sometimes referred to Driving While Intoxicated)
  • Selling alcohol to a person under 21

Are you being charged with a DUI or other statutory charge? If you’re in need of a San Diego criminal lawyer, contact us today.

Most of the above crimes are against the law in every state, though each of the 50 states has their own version of laws and may treat some crimes differently to other states. Some states may also have laws which are legal in their states but not in others, with things such as marijuana and prostitution being examples.

When it comes to Californian state law (and federal US law) The San Diego DUI Specialists are the right criminal defense team for you. Our team of San Diego criminal lawyers has the experience and legal expertise to provide you with top-notch legal representation if you’re charged with a crime. Looking for a San Diego criminal defense attorney? Contact us for a free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer today.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

Most often, crimes are classified according to their severity, which is where the concepts of felonies and misdemeanors come in. Generally speaking, a felony is a serious crime such as robbery, kidnapping or murder, whereas a misdemeanor is a less serious crime such as a DUI or vandalism.

Felonies (which are more serious) come with a year or more in prison, while misdemeanors (which are less serious) come with a steep fine and less than a year in jail, or perhaps no jail time at all.

Some states will specify differences and make sub-categories for certain crimes. For example, some personal crimes can be classed as “violent crimes” or “non-violent crimes”, the nature of which can affect a prison sentence if the accused is found guilty.

The US criminal law system is very complex, so it’s important to have a reputable San Diego criminal lawyer by your side if you find yourself in trouble with the law. Looking for legal representation in San Diego or the surrounding area? The San Diego DUI Specialists will provide you with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney who can determine your best defense strategy.