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Criminal Legal System - USA vs Malaysia

Malaysia and the United States have different legal systems and categorizations for crimes. While both countries recognize various types of crimes, they use different terminology and legal classifications. Here's a general comparison of the types of crimes in Malaysia and the United States:


**Malaysia:**


In Malaysia, crimes are typically categorized based on their seriousness and penalties under the Penal Code (Act 574) and other related legislation. The primary classifications include:


1. **Felony Equivalent:** In Malaysia, there is no direct equivalent to the term "felony" as used in the United States. Instead, crimes are categorized as offenses, and they are further classified based on the severity of punishment:

- **Compoundable Offenses:** These are less serious offenses that can be settled through a compromise between the parties involved.

- **Non-Compoundable Offenses:** These are more serious offenses that cannot be compromised, and legal proceedings are pursued.


2. **Serious Crimes:** Serious crimes in Malaysia include offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, drug trafficking, and other offenses that carry significant penalties upon conviction. These are typically considered the most severe offenses.


3. **Property Crimes:** Crimes against property include theft, burglary, and robbery. They are dealt with under specific sections of the Penal Code.


4. **White-Collar Crimes:** White-collar crimes encompass various financial offenses, including fraud, embezzlement, and corruption. These offenses are addressed under specific laws and regulations.


5. **Traffic and Road Offenses:** Traffic offenses, including reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, fall under traffic laws and regulations.


**United States:**


In the United States, crimes are often categorized into the following classifications:


1. **Felony:** Felonies are the most serious category of crimes in the U.S. They include offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. Felonies typically carry substantial penalties, including imprisonment for one year or more.


2. **Misdemeanor:** Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies but still punishable by incarceration, usually for up to one year. Common misdemeanors include simple assault, petty theft, and certain drug possession charges.


3. **Infraction/Violation:** Infractions or violations are minor offenses that are not considered crimes in the same sense as felonies and misdemeanors. They often involve non-criminal matters, such as traffic violations and some low-level civil offenses.


4. **White-Collar Crimes:** In the U.S., white-collar crimes encompass various non-violent financial crimes, including fraud, embezzlement, insider trading, and identity theft. These can be categorized as felonies or misdemeanors based on the specific circumstances and penalties.


5. **Property Crimes:** Property crimes include offenses like burglary, theft, and arson. The severity of charges and penalties can vary depending on factors such as the value of stolen property.


6. **Drug Offenses:** Drug-related crimes involve the illegal possession, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances. Penalties can range from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the type and quantity of drugs involved.


It's important to note that the specific classification and penalties for crimes can vary among U.S. states due to the federal system of government. Each state has its own criminal code and sentencing guidelines. In contrast, Malaysia follows a centralized legal system, and the classifications and penalties are established at the federal level.

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