Most states in USA divide their crimes into two major groups —— felonies and misdemeanors. Whether a crime falls into one category or the other depends on the potential punishment. If a law provides for imprisonment for longer than a year， the crime is usually considered a felony. If the potential punishment is for a year or less， then the act is considered a misdemeanor. In some states， certain crimes， called "wobblers，" may be either a misdemeanor or a felony， because the judge has the power to impose a sentence of less than a year （making the crime a misdemeanor） or more than a year （making it a felony）。
Behaviors punishable only by fine are usually not considered crimes at all， but infractions —— traffic tickets， for example. But a legislature may on occasion punish behavior only by fine and still provide that it is a misdemeanor， such as possession of less than an ounce of marijuana for personal use in California.