For other uses, see Misdemeanor (disambiguation). A misdemeanor (American English, spelled misdemeanour in British English) is any "lesser" criminal act in some common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as minor, petty, or summary offences) and regulatory offences. Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines.
Distinction between felonies and misdemeanors A misdemeanor is considered a crime of low seriousness, and a felony one of high seriousness. A principle of the rationale for the degree of punishment meted out is that the punishment should fit the crime. One standard for measurement is the degree to which a crime affects others or society. Measurements of the degree of seriousness of a crime have been developed.
 In the United States, the federal government generally considers a crime punishable with incarceration for one year or less to be a misdemeanor. All other crimes are considered felonies. Many states also employ the same or a similar distinction. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanors has been abolished by several common law jurisdictions (notably Australia). These jurisdictions have generally adopted some other classification: in the Commonwealth nations of Australia,Canada,New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, the crimes are divided into summary offences and indictable offences.
 The Republic of Ireland, a former member of the Commonwealth, also uses these divisions. When a misdemeanor becomes a felony In the United States of America, even if a criminal charge for the defendant's conduct is normally a misdemeanor, sometimes a repeat offender will be charged with a felony offense. For example, the first time a person commits certain crimes, such as spousal assault, it is normally a misdemeanor, but the second time it may become a felony.
 Typical misdemeanors and sentences In the US, graffiti is a common form of misdemeanor vandalism, although in many states it is now a felony. In some jurisdictions, those who are convicted of a misdemeanor are known as misdemeanants (as contrasted with those convicted of a felony who are known as felons). Depending on the jurisdiction, examples of misdemeanors may include: petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, vandalism, reckless driving, discharging a firearm within city limits, possession of cannabis and in some jurisdictions first-time possession of certain other drugs, and other similar crimes.
Punishments for misdemeanors Misdemeanors usually do not result in the loss of civil rights, but may result in loss of privileges, such as professional licenses, public offices, or public employment. Such effects are known as the collateral consequences of criminal charges. This is more common when the misdemeanor is related to the privilege in question (such as the loss of a taxi driver's license after a conviction for reckless driving), or when the misdemeanor involves moral turpitude—and in general is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
United States In the United States, misdemeanors are typically crimes with a maximum punishment of 12 months of incarceration, typically in a local jail as contrasted with felons, who are typically incarcerated in a prison. Jurisdictions such as Massachusetts are a notable exception where the maximum punishment of some misdemeanors is up to 2.5 years. People who are convicted of misdemeanors are often punished with probation, community service, short jail term, or part-time incarceration such as a sentence that may be served on the weekends.
The United States Constitution provides that the President may be impeached and subsequently removed from office if found guilty by Congress for "high crimes and misdemeanors". As used in the Constitution, the term misdemeanor refers broadly to criminal acts as opposed to employing the felony-misdemeanor distinction used in modern criminal codes. The definition of what constitutes a "high crime" or "misdemeanor" for purposes of impeachment is left to the judgment of Congress.
 Singapore In Singapore, misdemeanors generally are sentenced to months of jail sentence but with individual crimes suspects are sentenced to a harsher sentence. The penalty of vandalism is a fine not exceeding S$2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years, and also corporal punishment of not less than three strokes and not more than eight strokes of the cane. Misdemeanor classes Possession of cannabis may be an unclassified misdemeanor in parts of the US.
Depending on the jurisdiction, several classes of misdemeanors may exist; the forms of punishment can vary widely between those classes. For example, the federal and state governments in the United States divide misdemeanors into several classes, with certain classes punishable by jail time and others carrying only a fine. In New York law, a Class A Misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment, while a Class B Misdemeanor "shall not exceed three months".
 Unclassified misdemeanors In the United States, when a statute does not specify the class of a misdemeanor, it may be referred to as an unclassified misdemeanor. Legislators usually enact such laws when they wish to impose penalties that fall outside the framework specified by each class. For example, Virginia has four classes of misdemeanors, with Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanors being punishable by twelve-month and six-month jail sentences, respectively, and Class 3 and Class 4 misdemeanors being non-jail offenses payable by fines.
 First-time cannabis possession is an unclassified misdemeanor in Virginia punishable by up to 30 days in jail rather than the normal fines and jail sentences of the four classes. New York has three classes of misdemeanor: A, B, and Unclassified. England and Wales All distinctions between felony and misdemeanour were abolished by section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967. Prior to this, a person prosecuted for misdemeanour was called a defendant.
 See also Convicted felon Federal crime Felony Indictable offence Infraction Misdemeanor murder Summary offence References ^ "misdemeanour". Cambridge Dictionary. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ^ "Classification of Crimes". M Libraries Publishing. University of Minnesota. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ^ Doing Justice: The Choice of Punishments, A VONHIRSCH, 1976, p.220 ^ Criminology, Larry J.
Siegel ^ An Economic Analysis of the Criminal Law as Preference-Shaping Policy, Duke Law Journal, Feb 1990, Vol. 1, Kenneth Dau-Schmidt, JSTOR 1372651 ^ Offense Seriousness Scaling: An Alternative to Scenario Methods, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, Volume 9, Number 3, 309-322, doi:10.1007/BF01064464 James P. Lynch and Mona J. E. Danner,  ^ "18 USC 3559: Sentencing classification of offenses".
uscode.house.gov. 1 November 1987. Retrieved 6 April 2017. ^ Larson, Aaron. "What is a Misdemeanor". ExpertLaw. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ^ Crimes Act 1958 (Vic., Australia) s. 332B(1), Crimes Act 1900 (NSW., Australia) s. 580E(1) ^ Justice, VOC, Department of. "Types of offences". www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ Justice, Ministry of; General, Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor.
"Types of Offences - Province of British Columbia". www2.gov.bc.ca. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ "Offence categories & types of trials | New Zealand Ministry of Justice". www.justice.govt.nz. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ "Summary Offences and the Crown Court: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service". www.cps.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ "Criminal courts - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-27.
^ "What is the difference between a summary and indictable offence?". www.findlaw.com.au. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ Prosecutions, Office of the Director of Public. "Guidelines for Prosecutors - Director of Public Prosecutions". www.dppireland.ie. Retrieved 2017-01-27. ^ Bergman, Paul, and Sara J. Berman-Barrett. The Criminal Law Handbook: Know Your Rights, Survive the System. Berkeley, CA: Nolo, 2011.
Print. ^ "Felony and Master Crime List" (PDF). www.mass.gov/courts. Massachusetts Sentencing Commission. December 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2017. ^ "Schick v. United States, 195 U.S. 65, 24 S.Ct. 826, 49 L.Ed. 99 (1904)". Google Scholar. Google. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ^ Bowman, Frank O.; Sepinuck, Stephen L. (1999). "High Crimes and Misdemeanors: Defining the Constitutional Limits on Presidential Impeachment".
Southern California Law Review. 72 (6): 1517. Retrieved 29 June 2017. ^ See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 3559 ^ N.Y. Penal L. § 70.15 (1), (2). Found at New York State Assembly website. Accessed August 6, 2013. ^ See, e.g., "Criminal Justice System for Adults in NYS". Office of Mental Health. New York State. Retrieved 19 November 2017., "Misdemeanor and Criminal Violation Cases". Lane County Circuit Court.
Oregon Judicial Department. Retrieved 19 November 2017. ^ a b § 18.2-11. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor, Code of Virginia. ^ § 18.2-250.1. Possession of marijuana unlawful, Code of Virginia. ^ N.Y. Penal L. § 55.05 (2). Found at New York State Assembly website. Accessed August 6, 2013. ^ O. Hood Phillips. A First Book of English Law. Sweet and Maxwell. Fourth Edition. 1960. Page 151. External links The dictionary definition of misdemeanor at Wiktionary v t e History of English criminal law Part of the common law series Classes of crimes Felony Misdemeanour Arrestable offence Inchoate offences Incitement Defences Provocation Offences against the person Petty treason Capital murder Felo de se Sexual offences Buggery Gross indecency between men Indecent assault Criminal libel and kindred offences Seditious libel Sedition Blasphemous libel Blasphemy Obscene libel Defamatory libel Offences against property Larceny Embezzlement Fraudulent conversion Forgery, personation and cheating Cheating Offences against justice Misprision of felony Compounding a felony Champerty and maintenance Embracery Law of England and Wales portal Criminal justice portal v t e Law Core subjects Administrative law Constitutional law Contract Criminal law Deed Equity Evidence International law Law of obligations Procedure Civil Criminal Property law Public law Restitution Statutory law Tort Other subjects Agricultural law Aviation law Banking law Bankruptcy Commercial law Competition law Conflict of laws Construction law Consumer protection Corporate law Cyberlaw Election law Energy law Entertainment law Environmental law Family law Financial regulation Health law Immigration law Intellectual property International criminal law International human rights International slavery laws Labour Law of war Legal archaeology Legal fiction Maritime law Media law Military law Probate Estate Will and testament Product liability Public international law Space law Sports law Tax law Transport law Trust law Women in law Sources of law Charter Constitution Custom Divine right Human rights Natural and legal rights Case law Precedent Law making Ballot measure Codification Decree Edict Executive order Proclamation Legislation Delegated legislation Regulation Rulemaking Promulgation Repeal Treaty Statutory law Statute Act of Parliament Act of Congress (US) Legal systems Civil law Common law Chinese law Legal pluralism Religious law Canon law Hindu law Jain law Jewish law Sharia Roman law Socialist law Statutory law Xeer Yassa Legal theory Critical legal studies Comparative law Feminist Law and economics Legal formalism History Natural law International legal theory Principle of legality Rule of law Sociology Jurisprudence Adjudication Administration of justice Criminal justice Court-martial Dispute resolution Fiqh Lawsuit/Litigation Legal opinion Legal remedy Judge Justice of the peace Magistrate Judgment Judicial review Jurisdiction Jury Justice Practice of law Attorney Barrister Counsel Lawyer Legal representation Prosecutor Solicitor Question of fact Question of law Trial Trial advocacy Trier of fact Verdict Legal institutions Bureaucracy The bar The bench Civil society Court Election commission Executive Judiciary Law enforcement Legal education Law school Legislature Military Police Political party Tribunal Category Index Outline Portal Retrieved from "https://en.
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1 SENTENCING IN (non-DWI) MISDEMEANOR CASES . OFFENSE CLASSES • Class 3 (least serious) → Class 2 → Class 1 → Class A1 (most serious) o Class is usually set ...