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Will I go to prison for a misdemeanor?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Misdemeanor crimes are typically less severe than felony crimes. There are some crimes that fall under both categories, and it depends on the situation as to what category your charges may fall under and what sentence you may receive.

The punishment for a misdemeanor is usually much less harsh than for a felony. According to the Iowa State Bar Association, it is possible for you to do prison time for a misdemeanor conviction, but other punishments are more common.


The most common sentence for a misdemeanor conviction is paying a fine. Fines can range from low to high, depending on the crime. They may also combine with fees for the court costs and any other charges associated with your arrest or case.

Jail time

Jail time is also more common than prison sentences. Jails are local institutions maintained by the local or state governments. Sentences in jails are typically low, such as one year or less.

Treatment in jail is generally less strict than in prison. You may be able to leave jail to work, returning only in the evenings or on weekends. The time you spend may be flexible, depending on your charges.

Prison time

You can get prison time for aggravated misdemeanors in the state. The highest possible sentence is two years. However, prison is not mandatory. A judge may also sentence you to do your time in jail. It is dependent on your history and the specifics of your case. However, if the judge wants to sentence you to more than one year of incarceration, you will go to a prison.