HomeQ&AWhere can I find names of felonies and misdeameanors

Where can I find names of felonies and misdeameanors


I'm teaching Technical English about criminology and criminalistics. But in a normal learning of a language you can not easily find this kind of words and expressions related with this matter. How or Where can I find this subject? Thanks for your help.

Yolanda Castillo

updated AGO 19, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by Yolita
corrected typo/misspelling - 0074b507, AGO 19, 2009

1 Answer


You might wish to look at this distinction between Felony and Misdemeanor. I had never heard of a Wobbler. (oops. I forgot to past the link).

I'll look for a site, but one of the problems is that many of our felony and misdemeanor laws are State laws or Municipal laws so they would have to be defined by the particular state or municipality. What one municipality may consider "public indecency" might be totally different from another municipality's definition.

Federal laws were created so that there would be some uniformity across the States, but there is still enormous gaps between what one state might call murder and what its neighbor might (I'm thinking about abortion). Marriage laws are another law that is mutating from state to state (re: same sex partnerships). Drug laws vary from state to state so Possession, Sale or Distribution, would be defined differently. And so forth.

Here is a site that list categories of crimes that might help you, but note that it is the laws of one state. I think that you may have to explore just Federal laws to find generic names as they vary too much from state to state.

Michigan crimes

Here's another site further explaining why you can't find lists. Look at how Illinois classifies their felonies. This hierarchy would certainly be different in any other state. So their definition of a crime as a subset of this certain classification and that certain category would be totally meaningless in another state.

lllinois Felonies

After poking around a bit I agree with you that those kinds of lists don't exist. Whether it is because it is a matter of legal judgment of what constitutes this or that charge or whether it's just too complicated (see this site on just explaining what a and misdemeanors is: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Misdemeanor) to list crimes without including definitions (which are generic and nebulous just so they can be left to court interpretation and application to the circumstances of the crime) or whatever.

Sorry, that I couldn't help.

updated AGO 19, 2009
edited by 0074b507
posted by 0074b507
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