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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. Misdemeanors are typically victimless crimes, which means that they are generally considered to be mala prohibita crimes. All crimes are 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: 09-06-2016 12:12 PM PDT
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