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Types of criminal convictions

Updated March 23, 2017

People who have been convicted of a crime at some point in their life may have difficulty moving on, especially because society gives them a more troublesome time of moving forward---especially depending upon the type of conviction. They may have difficulty applying for jobs, adopting a child or migrating to another country. Also, these convictions are recorded in a criminal record database and can be viewed in certain cases by potential employers and government agencies. Criminal convictions range from simple misdemeanours to crimes that are judged to be extremely serious and which subsequently receive harsher punishments.

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Misdemeanour Convictions

This type of criminal conviction involves minor or less serious criminal acts. These include shoplifting, disorderly conduct, simple assault, trespassing, vandalism and petty theft. Some states also include reckless driving, prostitution and underage drinking as acts under misdemeanour conviction. This type of conviction often requires the defendant to serve up to one year in county jail, pay a specified fine or both.

Felony Conviction

Felony convictions are given to individuals who have committed more serious criminal offences, such as murder, rape, arson, burglary and aggravated assault. Other crimes that result in felony convictions include battery, sales of illegal drugs and vandalism of federal property. These convictions are very serious and normally involve large fines and time in state prison---the amount and length depending on the seriousness of the criminal act.

"Wobbler" Convictions

"Wobbler" convictions are named as such because these crimes can result in being classified either as misdemeanour or felony convictions---depending on the offender's status and criminal record. For example, petty theft, which is usually classified as a misdemeanour, can be elevated to felony status because the offender's criminal record shows that he is a repeat offender or has an earlier theft conviction. Many cases can be classified as either felonies or misdemeanours. Wobbler convictions can then require either a period of time in state prison, county jail or the payment of a fine.

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About the Author

Steve Johnson is an avid and passionate writer with more than five years of experience. He's written for several industries, including health, dating and Internet marketing, as well as for various websites. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas.

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