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What Is a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor offense is a lesser crime punishable by a fine and/or county jail time for up to one year. Crimes are generally either classified as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the seriousness of the crime.
- Theft or Common Theft
- Assault and Battery
- Drunk Driving DUI/DWI
- Public drunkenness
- Resisting arrest or Obstructing or Resisting a Police Officer
- Disorderly conduct
- Breach of the Peace
- Failure to appear in Court
This list is not exclusive. Many criminal offenses can also be charged as felonies or a misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the crime.
If You Are Accused of a Misdemeanor
You face consequences of a misdemeanor conviction:
- It could be on your record for life
- County Jail
- Mandatory classes
- Significant fines
- Loss of the right to possess deadly weapons
The likelihood of any of the above consequences depends on:
- The severity of the crime
- The extent of the injury or damage
- Mitigating or aggravating circumstances
- Prior convictions
- Currently on probation or parole
- Attitude of community and court toward this type of crime
- Whether or not a weapon is used
Can I Also Be Liable in a Civil Lawsuit?
Yes, along with criminal liability, you may face civil liability for actions leading to a misdemeanor. If a civil charge is brought, you may be required to pay money for the victim's:
- Physical injuries
- Discomfort (pain and suffering)
- Direct out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Lost time from work
- Emotional injuries
Seeking Legal Help
If you are accused of a misdemeanor, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 05-23-2014 10:45 AM PDT
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