Misdemeanor

A criminal offense regarded as more serious than an infraction and less grave than a felony, a misdemeanor is more often than not punishable by means of fines and penalties and does not usually involve extensive prison sentences. In some cases, the perpetrator may be incarcerated in a local county jail.

What is a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor can be defined as any act that has been either committed or omitted in a clear violation of a public law. Depending on the severity of the crime, the various states have their own set of laws to classify misdemeanors among four different categories. In addition to this, a misdemeanor that has not been classified as any of the four types are typically referred to as unclassified misdemeanors. Such misdemeanors are typically dealt with in accordance with the specific details of a particular case and often result in judgments decided as per the discretion of the judge. In some of the states in the US, there is a fifth category of misdemeanors known as minor misdemeanors wherein the punishment generally involves a small monetary fine and no jail time. Speeding violation is a classic example of a minor misdemeanor recognized by certain states.

What are the different classes of misdemeanors?

As aforementioned, the different states have different procedures and guidelines for assigning punishments to the offenders charged with a misdemeanor. Here are the four classes of misdemeanors and the punishments associated with them.

  • Class A or 1: Punishable with penalties of up to $5000 along with a jail incarceration of up to a year
  • Class B or 2: Punishable with penalties of up to $1000 along with a jail incarceration of between 6 to 9 months
  • Class C or 3: Punishable with penalties of up to $1000 along with a jail incarceration of up to 2 months
  • Class D or 4: Punishable with penalties of up to $500 along with a jail incarceration of up to 30 days

It might be worthwhile to know that some states do not assign any jail sentence for class D or 4 misdemeanors. In addition to this, an individual might be charged with higher penalties for repeat misdemeanors of the same category. Also, it might be important to note that an offender charged with a misdemeanor (dismissed or not) can end up losing on major employment opportunities in the future. That being said, it is advisable for the misdemeanant to request the court to provide him/her a ‘certified finding of factual innocence’ to vouch for his/her credibility to a future employer.

Search for Misdemeanor and Background Check Records