There are a lot of criminal defense charges that get thrown around without any concrete understanding of what they mean and how they apply to particular crimes. These criminal charges are some of the most commonly used and they’re ones that you need to know about if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law.

Obstruction of Justice

Oftentimes, when someone has been charged with obstruction of justice, it is because they engaged in some type of conduct that impeded an ongoing investigation. For example, if someone has been suspected of committing a crime and is being investigated by the police, he may be charged with obstruction of justice if he were to bribe a witness or plant false evidence. One can also be charged with this crime if he or she lied to a police officer during an investigation into the commission of an alleged crime.


A felony that is punishable by law, perjury involves lying under oath in a court of law. It is the act of willfully stating as true anything which one knows or should know is false. A person who commits perjury may be fined, imprisoned for up to five years, or both. There are various degrees of the crime and it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on how much it may affect the proceeding in question.


One of the most serious forms of bribery is soliciting a public official, which could result in felony charges with heavy penalties. This crime occurs when someone offers or gives money or other compensation to a public official to influence an official act of that person’s employment. Penalties include imprisonment for up to 10 years, depending on the type and amount of bribery involved.

Fraud and False Pretenses

Fraud is a common criminal defense charge because it can be committed in so many ways. Some people might misstate their income on a loan application, resulting in fraud. Others might claim more credit cards than they have or claim insurance benefits that are not theirs. Whatever the method of the alleged fraud, if an individual’s actions were not authorized by another person or done with the other person’s consent, they could be charged with this crime.

Misprision of a Felony

Misprision of a felony is an archaic crime. Essentially, it states that any person who knows or learns of the commission of a felony and has not been theretofore indicted as a principal and informs the proper authorities within 48 hours shall be guilty of this offense. According to current law, this crime is punishable by up to 3 years in prison, in addition to fines.

Misprison of Child (or Juvenile Delinquency)

The Misprison of Child (or Juvenile Delinquency) charge is the crime of knowingly or recklessly failing to disclose a child or juvenile’s delinquency. This is a crime in many states, with punishments ranging from a fine up to imprisonment. Often, this charge will be prosecuted as a misdemeanor; however, it can also be charged as a felony in more serious cases.


You should always have a professional attorney by your side to help guide you through the court process and get the best possible result. There is always a way out of these situations, so even if it doesn’t look like an easy case, there is still hope.