Class A Misdemeanors
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What Is a Class A Misdemeanor?
A Class A Misdemeanor is the most serious classification of misdemeanor charge in most states. States typically divide misdemeanors into categories such as Class A, B, C, D (or some numerical equivalent), with A being the most serious and C or D being the least serious.
In general, a misdemeanor is an offense which is punishable by a jail term of one year maximum. Offenses which require more than a year of incarceration are usually classified as felonies. Felony charges can result in a sentence in a federal prison, whereas misdemeanors usually result in sentencing to a local or county jail. However, Class A misdemeanors carry sentences that are very similar to some lesser felonies.
What Are the Penalties for Class A Misdemeanors?
Since Class A misdemeanors are usually the most serious type of misdemeanor offense, they often involve the maximum amount of penalties that can be prescribed for a misdemeanor. This typically includes:
- Fines ranging anywhere from $500 to $5,000
- 1 year in jail
- A judge may also require the defendant to complete rehabilitation programs or community service
What Are Some Common Examples of Class A Misdemeanors?
Every state categorizes misdemeanors differently. For example, one state may place DUI offenses under class A, while other states may list DUI’s under a different category. Some common examples of class A misdemeanor crimes include:
- Assault resulting in bodily injury
- Resisting arrest
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Property theft over $1,000
- Unlawful possession of a weapon
- Violating a restraining order
Do I Need a Lawyer for Class A Misdemeanor Charges?
Although it may seem like misdemeanor charges are not that serious, most Class A misdemeanors are about as serious as felony charges. If you are facing a Class A misdemeanor, you should speak with a criminal lawyer immediately. Your attorney will be able to represent you in a court of law and can advise you on whether any defenses may be available to you, and may also be able to contend for a reduction in charges or sentencing.
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Last Modified: 08-13-2014 10:29 AM PDT
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