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Six Crimes That Carry The Most Serious Penalties

Being convicted of a crime usually means you will face some type of penalty, such as probation or time in jail. The penalties are adjusted under the law to match the perceived severity of the crime and the interests of society. A handful of crimes are seen as being far worse than most of the others. Here are six crimes that carry the most serious penalties.


Murder through premeditation, an accident during the commission of a crime, or as part of an assault carries the harshest penalties under the law. You can be sentenced to 50 or more years in jail. Some people receive life imprisonment. Murder convictions can also qualify for the death penalty if it is legal in the jurisdiction where the crime took place.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes have some of the most serious penalties today. Possession of large quantities of drugs and possession with intent to distribute can result in jail terms of 30 years or more and tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Part of this is due to mandatory sentencing laws. It often takes the help of an experienced attorney, like those found at, to avoid the most severe penalties.

Sexual Assault

Felony sexual assaults can result in jail terms of 25 to 30 years depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. The most punitive sentences are reserved for those committing sexual assaults against minors who are usually 10 years old or younger.


Kidnapping can carry a sentence of 25 years or longer along with massive fines and penalties after leaving prison. Felony kidnapping means holding someone forcibly against his or her will. Using a gun can increase the penalties. Kidnapping is often included with other charges such as sexual assault.


First-degree arson can land you in prison for up to 25 years. It also has a potential fine of $20,000. Arson is penalized heavily under the law since it can put so many people in danger and potentially harm an entire city.

Government Fraud

A final crime that receives exceptionally heavy penalties is government fraud. This means fraudulent stealing from the government, assistance programs or town departments. Government fraud above a certain amount can result in a 20-year term in prison and large fines.

It is important to remember that crimes are treated differently between jurisdictions. Judges can also impose highly varied sentences depending on individual circumstances and requests from the prosecutor. These six crimes are considered some of the worst that can be committed for various reasons.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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