Different Levels of Offenses
Offenses are prosecuted at the lowest level of Class B misdemeanor up to the highest level of First Degree felony. Examples of the level of each type of offense and the possible ranges of punishment are as follows:
Class B Misdemeanor
Confinement for a term not to exceed 180 days in the county jail; and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000. Example: DWI ("drunk driving"), criminal trespass, theft by check $50 to $500, evading arrest, or detention.
Class A Misdemeanor
Confinement for a term not to exceed one year in the county jail; and/or a fine not to exceed $4,000. Example: a second DWI, assault, burglary of a vehicle, unlawfully carrying a weapon.
A State Jail Felony
Confinement for a term, from 180 days to two years in a state jail; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. Example: credit card abuse, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless injury to a child.
Second Degree Felony
Confinement for a term, from two to 20 years in prison; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. Example: aggravated assault or kidnapping (if the victim is released unharmed), arson, robbery, sexual assault.
First Degree Felony
Confinement for life or a term, from five to 99 years in prison; and an optional fine not to exceed $10,000. Example: murder, aggravated kidnapping, robbery, or sexual assault.
Punishment in prison for life or death penalty. If the State does not seek the death penalty, upon conviction, an automatic life sentence is imposed. Where the State seeks the death penalty, upon conviction, the jury must answer questions, which may result in either a sentence of life imprisonment or the death sentence. Example: Murder during the commission of another felony, such as kidnapping, rape, or robbery.