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Understanding misdemeanor charges

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Firm News

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:

  • Trespassing
  • 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:

  • Prostitution
  • 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.