In addition to the broad category of "misdemeanor," there are also various classes of misdemeanors, such as Class A or Class B, C, or D misdemeanors. Class A is usually the most serious classification, with penalties being the most severe. Class D is usually the least serious offense.
Gross misdemeanors is considered to be more serious misdemeanor charges, but are not yet considered to be more serious a felony offense. Many gross misdemeanors often involve an element of serious recklessness or a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of others. Various DUI claims are often prosecuted as gross misdemeanors charges.
A “Gross Misdemeanor” is a type of crime that is more serious than a misdemeanor, but still not as serious as a felony charge. Some examples of gross misdemeanors include:
- Aggravated Assault
- Petty theft
- Driving under the influence
- Repeated stalking and harassment offenses
The word “gross” usually indicates that the offense was willful or flagrant, and should result in a more severe penalty.
What Are the Penalties for Gross Misdemeanors?
As mentioned, gross misdemeanors are not as serious as felony crimes. Unlike felony charges, gross misdemeanor charges can usually be expunged after a few years. Also, sentences for gross misdemeanors are usually served in a county jail, rather than in a prison facility.
Gross misdemeanors can sometimes be associated with stiff legal penalties. A defendant who is found guilty of a gross misdemeanor can receive the maximum penalties for a misdemeanor. In most jurisdictions, this includes a monetary fine of up to $5,000, and a maximum of one year in jail.
Persons who repeatedly commit gross misdemeanors may be subject to additional legal consequences. For example, a first-time DUI offense can result in fines, jail time, and a temporary suspension of driving privileges. However, a second or third-time DUI offense can result in increased fines, longer jail time, and a permanent loss of driving privileges.
Are There Any Defenses to Gross Misdemeanors?
There are many types of criminal defense that may be applicable to defend a gross misdemeanor charge. These include:
The defense counsel may present various items of evidence and witness testimony to help support a defense theory. In some cases, the services of an expert witness can sometimes be enlisted in order to help the defendant’s case.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Unlike standard misdemeanor charges, gross misdemeanor charges can result in more severe penalties. If you are facing gross misdemeanor charges, you may wish to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.