What you need to know about Misdemeanors
A misdemeanor is a minor crime (as opposed to a felony). A crime less serious than a felony which is punishable by fine or imprisonment in a city or county jail rather than in a penitentiary.
Overall, California classifies three types of crimes in descending order of severity:
1. Felonies (which are the most serious, punishable by imprisonment in the California State Prison for a period of years)
2. Misdemeanors (which are punishable only by local county jail time, not more than one year)
3. Infractions (such as traffic violations, also referred to as moving violations)
Standard Misdemeanor Offenses
Standard California misdemeanors are offenses that are punishable by a maximum six-month county jail sentence and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Examples of common standard misdemeanors include (but are not limited to):
- Petty theft
- Being drunk in public
If you are being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. Both misdemeanors and felonies have a potential for jail time and probation and serious immigration consequences if one is not a United States Citizen.