Home > SuperTips > Legal Help > What is a misdemeanor?
Ogle, Elrod & Baril PLLC
Dependable SSI Lawyers. Call Our Law Firm 24/7 for an Appointment.

Randall Law Office
Call For Free Consultation, Serving All of Maine

Attorney Based Tax Problem Help
Attorney Backed Tax Service to Resolve Liens, Levies & Other Problems

Birth Defect Settlements
Some Antidepressants May Cause Birth Defects. Free Case Consult.

Asset Protection Law Firm
Experienced Asset Protection Firm. Proven Methods. Free Consultation.

The Hayes Firm
Workers Compensation, Medical Malpractice, Motorcycle-Auto Accident

SuperTips Categories

Share This:

What is a misdemeanor?

Ticket Clinic A Law Firm
Aggresive DUI Defense. We Believe Almost Any Case Can Be Won! Call Us

A misdemeanor is defined as any crime that is punishable by no more than one year in jail and a fine. Misdemeanors are more severe than petty crimes but less severe than felonies, which can include incarceration in a state prison for more than one year. Misdemeanors are divided into class 1, class 2 and class 3 misdemeanors with class 1 misdemeanors being the most serious. Depending on the state, these may also be referred to as class A misdemeanors, class B misdemeanors and class C misdemeanors.

A class 1 or class A misdemeanor is the misdemeanor most likely to include jail time. Examples of class 1 misdemeanors include credit card fraud and several drug sale and possession crimes. Possession of two-four ounces of marijuana or the sale of ¼ ounce or less can result in a class 1 misdemeanor. These are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4000.

A first offense for driving while intoxicated will result in a class 2 or class B misdemeanor, assuming there is no auto accident. Criminal trespassing and prostitution are also class B misdemeanors. These crimes carry a sentence of no more than six months in a county jail and a fine of no more than $2000.

A Class 3 or class C misdemeanor will include offenses such as public intoxication and passing bad checks. Fines for these range as high as $500 and rarely include any jail time. First offenses for all misdemeanors, especially non-violent crimes, are eligible for probation, community service and deferred adjudication.

While the criminal sanctions for misdemeanors are not particularly severe, there are still some other consequences. A misdemeanor conviction will not bar someone from owning a gun, voting or running for public office as a felony conviction will. A misdemeanor conviction can, however, prevent someone from being hired for certain jobs, cost admission to college or graduate school, or result in the loss of a professional license.

Being convicted of any crime, even a low level misdemeanor, can be a serious situation. A conviction can stay on your record for years, even if it is eventually erased following the completion of deferral program. After an arrest, contact a criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Find local Legal Resources