What are the differences between a ticket, a crime and a crime?
Verified 08 December 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice
The contraventions, the offenses and crimes are the 3 types of infringements punishable by a criminal penalty (fine or prison). The main difference is in the seriousness of the act and the penalty. The offense is the least serious of the three offenses, the offense is the intermediate offense and the crime is the most serious offense. Another difference concerns the courts with jurisdiction to try the perpetrators of these offenses and the limitation periods applicable.
The contravention is the least serious of the offenses. It is classified in 5 categories, the least serious (contravention of 1era class), to the most serious (contravention of 5eme class). Examples of contraventions: threat of degradation, slight deterioration of property, light violence.
The offense is an offense of medium seriousness, between the offense and the crime. Examples of offenses: theft, abuse of social property, discrimination, psychological harassment, sexual touching, manslaughter.
The crime is the most serious offense. Examples of crime: murder, rape.
Depending on their seriousness, offenses may be punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment. Additional penalties may be imposed in addition to the main penalty of fine or imprisonment. For example, a duty to care.
some offenses in the first 4 classes are punishable by a flat-rate fine. The amounts are then lower.
sometimes community service can be offered as an alternative to imprisonment and not as a complementary punishment.
A different court judges the perpetrators of each of the three types of offense.
if the same case involves more than one offense (theft and murder, for example), the court hearing the most serious offense will decide all the offenses. For example, the criminal court judges the offenses (theft) associated with a crime (murder).
The limitation period is the period during which an infringement may be continued. It is usually calculated from the date of the facts concerned. A different limitation period shall apply for each type of infringement.
the statute of limitations is 30 years for certain crimes considered to be particularly serious (terrorism, sexual crime against minors, trafficking in human beings, for example).
- Penal Code: Articles 131-1 to 131-2Prison sentences for crimes
- Penal Code: Articles 131-3 to 131-9Prison sentences for offenses
- Penal Code: Articles 131-10 to 131-11Additional penalties
- Penal Code: Articles 131-12 to 131-18Penalties for contravention
- Convictions and penaltiesService-Public.fr