The criminal justice wedding cake is a diagram to show the importance of a crime and where it would be categorized. There are four layers on the cake that signify each of the major types of crimes: (1) misdemeanors, (2) less serious felonies, (3) serious felonies, and (4) celebrated cases. Also, the size of these layers depends on the importance of the crimes, with misdemeanors being the largest and at the bottom and the celebrated cases being at the top and the smallest layer. The bottom and largest layer of the criminal justice wedding cake pertains to the misdemeanors.
A misdemeanor is a lesser crime and the person being punished is given either a fine or a few days of imprisonment depending on the type of crime committed. Misdemeanors range from a number of different things from a possession charge to a minor traffic violation, like a hit and run accident with another person’s vehicle. But it depends upon the state that these offenses are listed as misdemeanors. The next layer would consist of the less serious felonies. These are usually committed by first time offenders.
Some of the cases include small robberies of a low dollar value with no weapons involved or something as simple as a fight that ended with assault charges. Most of the time, depending on the severance of the case, these felonies are not dealt with like they should be. The punishments for these types of cases are things like probation or home incarceration. The third layer of the criminal justice wedding cake would include the more serious felonies. Some of these crimes would consist of murders, high dollar robberies that involved weapons, such as bank heists or home invasions, or a probation violation.
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These felonies are taken very seriously and they often require a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison. At the very top of the cake rests the celebrated cases. These cases are the high-profile cases and they attract a lot of media attention. The people involved in them can include someone famous, or very wealthy, like OJ Simpson, Martha Stewart, and Lindsey Lohan. Celebrated cases can also be someone unknown who committed a very wrongful crime like a serial killer, or simply because they attract the media.
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