Any conduct punished by a fine, imprisonment, or both is considered a crime. If there is an accusation of a crime against you, a criminal defence lawyer from a reputable Singapore firm can assist you in defending your rights in court. The legal system dictates that the criminally accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
However, what types of cases are considered criminal? Which criminal cases deserve consultation at criminal law firms in Singapore? Read on to learn more about criminal cases and how they are distinguished.
Two Types of Criminal Cases
Felonies and misdemeanours are the two main categories of crime. The possible punishment for committing one of these categories of crimes distinguishes them from each other. Consultation with a top criminal lawyer in Singapore to better learn about crimes. Here is a brief explanation of the distinctions between felonies and misdemeanours and the cases falling under each category.
The most grievous type of criminal violation is a felony. These offences are punishable by more than one year in prison. People often serve these punishments in a federal or state prison rather than county jail. You have to look for the best criminal lawyer around if you want to escape conviction for these crimes. The following are cases that fall under felony.
#1 Violent Crimes
If there is a charge against you with a serious offence, the legal representation you choose will have far-reaching implications for your future. You will need a trained and experienced criminal defence lawyer in Singapore to help you through the legal system. Some examples of crimes that fall under this category are:
- Robbery – The sentence for a robbery conviction in Singapore merits two (to) to fourteen (14) years imprisonment and six (6) to twelve (12) strokes of the cane, depending on severity.
- Assault – A person who assaults or uses illegal force on another without a significant and abrupt provocation from that person merits three (3) months imprisonment and a fine of up to S$1,500.
- Homicide – Culpable homicide under Singapore law warrants fifteen (15) to life in prison and caning or a fine.
- Murder – You will need the best criminal lawyer on your defence if you want to get life in prison over the death penalty under Singapore law.
- Child Abuse – A conviction for child abuse in Singapore merits a fine of up to S$8,000 and a maximum of twenty (20) years in prison.
A person can get a conviction for more violent crimes under Singapore law. More cases warrant a death sentence. However, these are some of the most common violent crimes people see. Visit a law firm in Singapore and consult with their best criminal lawyer for actions you can take in these cases.
#2 Sex Crimes
Sex crimes happen when there is violence during a sexual act. It also denotes the lack of consent from one participant to the sexual act. A person can also be convicted of a sex crime when they participate in sex with someone legally incapable of agreeing, such as a child. Consult with one of the criminal law firms in Singapore if there are accusations against you in the following cases:
- Child Molestation/Pornography – These acts fall under child abuse and receive the same punishments mentioned above.
- Rape – Being guilty of rape under the Singapore law warrants an eight (8) to twenty (20) years stay in prison and caning.
- Molestation – The punishment for molestation under Singapore law is two (2) to ten (10) years in prison with caning.
More technicalities are under sex crimes. However, these are the most common. Sex crimes are the most rampant cases criminal law firms in Singapore and worldwide deal with regularly.
#3 White Collar Crimes
A white-collar crime is a non-violent act of fraud perpetrated by a businessperson or government figure. A “paper trail” of evidence is generally present in a white-collar crime investigation, which investigators use to prosecute the case. Consult with a criminal defence lawyer in Singapore if there is an accusation of the following three white-collar crimes the court recognises against you.
- Embezzlement – The crime warrants up to seven (7) years in prison, a fine or both.
- Money Laundering – The punishment for money laundering is up to ten (10) years imprisonment, a fine of S$500,000, or both.
- Forgery – Convictions for being guilty of forgery involve up to four (4) years in prison, a fine, or both.
Most of these cases are high profile and dealt with by the best criminal lawyer teams. These cases can also take a long time to prosecute due to the complexity of the evidence needed to prove the conviction.
Crimes that only warrant imprisonment of less than a year and a fine are considered misdemeanours. Misdemeanour crimes are considered less in gravity. Also, most people serve their prison sentences in local jails. Many still insist on scouring Singapore to hire the best criminal lawyer around. The following are considered acts of misdemeanour that are punishable by law.
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence) – A first-time conviction for drinking and driving merits a fine of $2,000 to $10,000 and up to one (1) year in prison. Repeat offenders face penalties ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 and two (2) years in prison.
- Vandalism – Though it can warrant up to three (3) years in prison, it is still considered a misdemeanour in Singapore. Offenders may also face a fine of up to S$2,000 and caning.
- Petty Theft – A petty theft offender under the Singapore law merits a conviction of three (3) to seven (7) years in prison.
- Manufacturing, Possession, Selling of Drugs – These misdemeanours warrant severe punishments: life imprisonment or death.
The most notable role of a criminal defence lawyer from any reputable Singapore firm is reducing the punishment. Engaging with the best criminal lawyer to get a lesser conviction is a good strategy. They should be able to prove that your offence is of lesser gravity and does not warrant grave punishments.
Work With a Top Singapore Law Firm
Are you looking for criminal or defamation lawyers in Singapore to help you with a specific legal issue? Come to Quahe Woo & Palmer for help.
They’re a small firm that focuses on guiding ultra-high-net-worth family offices and individuals with any legal concerns. They have a well-established General Litigation division that deals with diverse civil and criminal matters. You can also come for divorce mediation at their Singapore office. For the best criminal or family lawyer in Singapore, come to Quahe Woo & Palmer.