Crimes that are dealt with by the legal system are handled very differently depending on the crime. Criminal activity runs the gamut from misdemeanors to felonies, and the law treats each of these very distinctly. Misdemeanors are those crimes that are less severe in nature, and therefore punished accordingly. Usually misdemeanors carry with them a lesser sentence, meaning less time in jail. Felonies, on the other hand, are a whole other animal in that felonies are more severe and dangerous in nature.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, a young man was arrested for a having a gun and drugs in his vehicle. According to police reports, the man was driving and was stopped by the police for driving in a disorderly manner. Upon searching the car, the police say they found drugs and a firearm. The police ended up charging the man with various offenses including, but not limited to, having a firearm while in the possession of illegal drugs, as well as the underlying possession charge.
Various felonies carry varying penalties if convicted. Each felony has elements that have to be proven before the legal system will hand down a conviction. Serious charges like first-degree murder, larceny, and robbery are specific intent crimes, meaning that the suspect had the specific knowledge that his or her actions would result in illegal conduct. General intent crimes such as assault, battery and rape only require that the accused intend to do the act.
Source: BayouBuzz, "New Orleans police arrest 20-year-old for gun, drug violations," March 2, 2015