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Misdemeanor Lawyers

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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.

Typical Misdemeanors

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
  • Probation
  • 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.

Vea esta página en español: Delitos Menores o visita Abogados-Leyes.com para más información legal.

Photo of page author Peter Clarke

, LegalMatch Content Manager

Last Modified: 04-24-2017 11:45 PM PDT

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