Criminal laws reflect the values of society, and how they have evolved over time. (For example, in Florida as late as 1964, it was a first degree misdemeanor for persons of different races to marry or even occupy the same hotel room.) The degree of potential harm can affect the degree of the offense ultimately charged. As with any crime, the ultimate harm in criminal law is to society as the law exists to protect everyone. Laws, however, differ between federal and state, and from state to state jurisdictions. In this discussion you will explore the founding principles of criminal case law and precedent in terms of building an understanding of the difference between felonies and misdemeanors, and inchoate offenses. As you learned from your Criminal Law Today text, inchoate offenses are incomplete crimes as they are anticipatory in nature. Inchoate crimes include attempts, conspiracy, and solicitation.
For this discussion, begin by researching your state statute regarding the classification of crimes as misdemeanors or felonies. In your main post, include the following:
- Summarize the delineating factors that differentiate felonies from misdemeanors.
- Explore why it is important for law enforcement officers to understand these distinctions.
- Explain the elements of one inchoate offense from your state statute.
- Describe whether your chosen inchoate offense is a felony or misdemeanor.