A misdemeanor is defined as a criminal offense that is considered not as serious as a felony. It is often an instance of misbehavior that is attached with less severe punishments. Misdemeanors are a type of infraction known as a regulatory offense. Generally these offences result in the victim having to pay a monetary fine or complete community service. Some misdemeanors may also result in loss of certain privileges, such as licenses. United States law states that any misdemeanor can only result in a maximum of one year in prison.
One’s initial appearance in court is to inform the convicted person of their actual charges, their rights, their possible penalties, their right to a lawyer, and to find out whether the person wants to plead guilty or not. Then there is a pretrial conference where both parties present information on the case and discuss a plea bargain. If a plea bargain is not made or accepted, they proceed to a court trial. If one has pleaded guilty or been found guilty the judge determines the final sentence or penalty. Misdemeanors are categorized on different levels of class. There are four levels of class. The levels are based on severity of the misdemeanor. Common misdemeanors include petty theft, driving under the influence, public intoxication, and trespassing.
Back to Crime Library