Misdemeanors are categorized as crimes that are less serious than felonies. The punishment for committing a misdemeanor is usually accompanied by a jail sentence instead of a prison sentence. The length of your incarceration is determined by the severity of your crime.
Crimes that fall under the misdemeanor category include driving without a license, most thefts, most assaults, stealing a car or motor vehicle, sexual exploitation by school employees or correction officers, and involuntary manslaughter.
Three classifications of misdemeanors
If you are cited for a misdemeanor it will fall into one of these categories:
Simple misdemeanors carry a fine of $105-$850 and may include jail time of up to 30 days. When a minor under the age of 18 is charged with a simple misdemeanor, they may be charged a fine of up to $100.These crimes include:
- Domestic abuse (first offense)
- Assault that does no bodily damage
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Serious misdemeanors carry a fine of $430-$2560 and up to one year in jail. The types of crimes in this category include:
- Domestic abuse (second offense)
- Drug possession (first offense)
- DUI or DWI (first offense)
- Assault that causes bodily harm
Aggravated misdemeanors carry a fine of $855-$8540 and up to two years in jail. The types of crimes in this category include:
- DUI or DWI (second offense)
- Indecent exposure
- Drug possession (second offense)
While being charged with a misdemeanor does not carry the type of stiff penalties that a felony does, you can be sent to prison (instead of jail) if you have been convicted of several misdemeanors. If you are facing a misdemeanor charge it is important that you understand the ramifications and how they may impact your future.