Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by no more than one year in jail. Fines, probation and/or community service may be added as punishment.
While misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, they still can have a negative effect on a person’s life when, for instance, an employer or landlord runs a background check.
Misdemeanor punishments are divided into classes that depend on the state. A punishment for petty theft could have a more lenient punishment than aggravated assault. However, the details of a case (e.g., prior convictions, probation) will have an effect on the punishment.
Crimes considered misdemeanors include:
A person sentenced to serve time as the result of a misdemeanor typically will go to a jail as opposed to a prison, as in felony cases. In some cases, a person will have the opportunity to serve time only on the weekends until the jail-time requirements are met.