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What are the Different Types of Misdemeanors?

Depending on the severity of the crime, it may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Between the two, misdemeanors are the less serious crimes and usually consist of a fine. Other punishments for the more serious misdemeanor crimes include jail sentencing, probation, court supervision, community service, or a combination of these. The following crimes are usually classified as misdemeanors:

  • Assault – Any kind of physical attack on another person, such as punching, or the intent of causing harm, or threatening someone, falls under assault. Serious injuries and use of a weapon do not fall under simple assault.
  • Domestic Violence – When there is an episode of violence between two people living together in a household, it falls under domestic violence. Serious cases of domestic abuse and violence fall under the felony offense.
  • Harassment – Actions like stalking, creating an unpleasant situation towards another person or group, inducing a sense of fear or a threat to the person’s safety all fall under harassment.
  • Disorderly conduct – When a person threatens the safety of other individuals around them, or “disturbs their peace,” it is classified as a disorderly conduct. Such actions may even cause a threat to public safety and include public intoxication, loitering, obstructing traffic, or even driving around with loud music.
  • Prostitution – Agreeing to or actually engaging in some type of sex act for money is considered a misdemeanor crime.
  • Driving Under the Influence or DUI – In most states, a first offense DUI is considered a misdemeanor offense, as long as there is no serious injury or aggravating factors involved.
  • Driving with an open container – Many states prohibit carrying an open container of alcohol in public places to prevent disorderly conduct.
  • Minor in Possession – Any minor in possession of alcohol or drugs, whether open or closed, is a violation under law and is considered a misdemeanor offense.
  • Crimes against Property – Certain crimes against property fall under misdemeanors. Theft or stealing someone’s property without their permission, called larceny, is a misdemeanor crime. However, if the value of the stolen property is higher than a certain amount, then it will be considered a felony.

Trespassing and vandalism are other types of property crimes. Trespassing refers to entering another person’s property without their permission or knowledge, whereas vandalism refers to the intentional act of destroying or damaging someone’s property without their permission. A common example of vandalism is breaking a car window.

Other property crimes like arson and burglary also fall under misdemeanor crimes if no one was hurt during the process. This is particularly true if the building was abandoned at the time the crime took place.

Several other crimes are also considered misdemeanors such as indecent exposure, and possession of small quantities of drugs. Whatever the charges, it is advised to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney to have the charges reduced or removed. In other cases, if the charges are serious enough to be classified as a felony, the attorney can have them reduced to a misdemeanor charge.

 

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