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What is a misdemeanor charge?

by | Oct 18, 2019 | Criminal Defense |

There are different types and categories of criminal charges accused individuals can end up facing. Any type of criminal charge can result in an arrest record, criminal history and significant penalties and consequences, including potential incarceration and fines, for accused individuals which is why they should always understand their criminal defense options and rights. It is important to understand the implication of a misdemeanor charge.

There are generally two broad categories of criminal charges including misdemeanors and felony charges. Misdemeanors are serious criminal charges but are typically punished by a year or less in jail, fines and potential community service or other penalties and consequences. By contrast, felony charges are considered more serious criminal charges that are punishable by a year or longer in prison and significant fines and other potential penalties and consequences.

Misdemeanor charges may be divided into three categories depending on the state including gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are more serious criminal charges than infractions which are not punishable by incarceration like both felony charges and misdemeanor charges are. Felony charges are the most serious types of criminal charges accused individuals can face but misdemeanor charges should not be taken lightly. Certain types of assault charges, theft charges, reckless driving and other types of criminal charges are considered misdemeanor charges.

It is imperative for accused individuals to be familiar with their criminal defense rights and how to defend themselves against misdemeanor criminal charges. Criminal defense rights ensure that accused individuals are protected when they are facing criminal accusations, allegations and charges misdemeanor or otherwise.