When it comes to being arrested, a lot of things can be confusing. For instance, what does it mean to be charged with a crime? There are three types of meanings that are used when someone is arrested and brought to court and those are charged, convicted, and sentenced. When someone is charged with a crime, it’s a claim that a crime has been committed by that said person. If the person who is charged with the crime is convicted, this means that they have been found either guilty or innocent of the charge. Once a conviction has been made, the sentencing then takes place, which will then tell the person what their punishment is committing the crime. We also hear the term, “indictment” in connection with criminal charges. A lot of people will ask, “Is an indictment the same as being charged?” and the answer is that they are not the same. An indictment is when a grand jury files criminal charges against a person, whereas a criminal charge, is when the prosecutor files charges. In the case of an indictment, there is the question of can charges be dropped after indictment? The answer is yes; a grand jury will usually drop indictment criminal charges if the case isn’t strong enough.
If a friend or family member has been charged with a crime, it’s important to know these legal terms, as they can help you through the entire process. Not only that, when someone you know has been charged with a crime, they need to have legal guidance in order to win their case. Since charges are allegations made against someone, it’s a good idea to know the most common criminal charges.
- Aggravated assault
- Drug possession
- Theft / Larceny
- Vehicle Theft
When someone is charged with a crime, they use abbreviations in criminal records. Knowing common abbreviations for criminal charges can help you navigate criminal records and what charges have been made against a person. If someone is charged with aggravated assault, the abbreviation will be AA; if the charge is aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, the abbreviation for the charge will be AA/DW.
List of Crimes and Their Punishments
When you are charged with a crime, it’s a good idea to know what the punishment for the crime is going to be. However, it’s important to note that not every person will be sentenced to the same punishment even if they are charged with the same crime. For example, someone who hasn’t been charged with drug possession before is going to have a lesser sentence than someone who has been charged with that crime two or three times. When it comes to crimes, there are over 50 types of crimes. To make this easier, we will go over the punishments of the most common types of charges.
- Aggravated Assault: Aggravated assault is the most serious type of assault, so generally this kind of crime is considered a felony.
- Burglary: People who commit burglary will either be sentenced to time in jail or prison (depending on the severity), as well as have to pay fines and can also have probation and restitution sentences.
- Drug Possession: When someone is charged with a drug possession, the type of punishment is going to depend on the state you live in, what kind of drug was on the said person, but you can bet that there will be jail or prison time based on how many drug possession charges the person has had.
- Robbery: Different states are going to have different penalties and sentences for robberies. Some will be considered a felony and require prison time, and most of the time there will be probation and restitution charges.
- Theft: Depending on the theft charge, it can either be a misdemeanor or felony charge. There can be jail time, prison time, fines, restitution, and probation for people who have committed theft.
How Do Bail Bonds Work
If your friend or a family member has been charged with a crime, they have a chance to be released from jail before they begin their trial. To be released from jail, they can use a bail bond provided by a bail bond company. Bail is used to paying the court to ensure that the defendant will appear on their scheduled court date. When determining someone’s bail, the judge will look at the person’s criminal history, whether they are a flight risk, how serious the crime is, and if they are a danger to their community. Sometimes a court will even have a bail schedule and will go based on that in order to set bail.
Once bail has been set, someone can either pay in cash or use a bail bond to be released from jail. So which is better, bail bonds vs cash? When thinking of bail bonds and cash, one shouldn’t be considered better than the other. If someone has the necessary means to pay cash to get released from jail, they can use cash; if someone can’t pay $1,000 for bail in cash, then getting a bail bond will work. The way that bail bonds work is that the defendant or a family member calls a bail bonds company and pays a percentage of the amount of the bail. With that, the bail bondsman posts bail for the defendant, and the defendant is released from jail. However, if the defendant skips bail, the bail bond is forfeited, which means whoever paid the bail bond amount will not get the money back.