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Misdemeanor Crimes

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.

Punishments

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:

  • DUI
  • Shoplifting
  • Vandalism
  • Prostitution
  • Reckless driving
  • Drug possession

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.

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