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Misdemeanors Defined

| Mar 9, 2015 | Criminal Defense |

People are not wrong to assume that misdemeanor crimes carry less weight than felonies. Misdemeanor crimes are met with less severe punishments, while felonies usually involve longer jail time and larger fines. Punishment for misdemeanor crimes include limited jail time, smaller fines, hours of community service, and a criminal record. Misdemeanors usually fall under three categories.

1. Class A

Class A misdemeanors are the most serious of the three. An example of this type of crime is breaking into a vehicle. Punishment for these crimes usually involves fines of up to a 1,000 dollars and a year of jail time.

2. Class B

These misdemeanors are less serious than class A crimes, but more serious than class C. They fall roughly in the middle of the two. Crimes of this magnitude are usually trespassing or street prostitution. Punishments for class B demeanors involve up to 180 days in jail.

3. Class C

Class C misdemeanors are the least severe of the three. Public intoxication or gambling are considered class C misdemeanors. Most of the time jail time is not served and fines are usually less than 1,000 dollars.

Although punishment for misdemeanors are less severe than those of felonies they are still show up on your record. The most common types of misdemeanors are listed below.

Petty theft

  • Petty theft is a large umbrella that can cover a number of offenses. Shoplifting trinkets and clothes or switching price tags are considered petty theft. If the price of the item stolen falls higher than the statuary price for that state it is considered a felony. The statutory limit ranges from state.

Indecent exposure

  • The most common culprits of this crime are heavily intoxicated people leaving bars and clubs. Exposing your genitals and urinating in public can earn you an arrest. It doesn’t matter if you were consciously hiding yourself or relieving yourself in clear sight. Urinating behind a dumpster or alleyway or in front of passing cars can lead to an indecent exposure arrest.

Public Intoxication

  • In some public spaces it is against the law to be intoxicated. In some situations an individual under the influence can hide their intoxication in front of law enforcement. Most public intoxication arrests are made when people participate in disorderly behavior. This can range from damaging property to starting fights/riots.


Entering a property that has been restricted to the public is considered trespassing. Some public areas specify the hours when people can occupy the space. Being on property during hours where the space should be vacant is also considered a form trespassing. Being on private property without permission is also considered trespassing. Punishment for trespassing also varies from state to state. The punishment for trespassing is usually less severe than those of other misdemeanors.

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor and are seeking legal counsel, feel free tocontact us at Kyle Law.