Crimes are divided into three general categories: felonies, misdemeanors and infractions. Crimes classified as felonies are considered to be more serious, carry a more severe penalty, and involve a more complex court procedure.
Although misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, a person convicted of a misdemeanor often risks the possibility of being fined and sometimes going to jail. Infractions usually carry only a fine and are often categorized with traffic violations. It is possible to be charged with violating a federal law, state law or a city ordinance.