If the State thinks you have committed a crime, the District Attorney’s Office, representing the State, may bring criminal charges against you. Only the State – not another person or agency – can charge you with a criminal violation.

There are 3 different kinds of criminal cases: infraction, misdemeanors, and felonies.

  • An infraction is a minor violation. Some traffic violations are infractions.
  • A misdemeanor is a more serious crime that can be punished by up to 1 year in jail.
  • A felony is the most serious kind of crime. If you are found guilty, you can be sent to state prison or receive the death penalty.


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