Commonly known as less serious crimes, misdemeanors are offenses punishable by monetary fines and short-term incarceration. Typical examples include theft, drunk driving, vandalism, assault and battery, and trespassing. They are also classified into different categories, with punishments and consequences depending on the severity of the crime.
Some states classify the crime as Class 1, 2, 3, while others use Class A, B, C, and so on. Class 1 or A offenses are more serious, whereas Class 3 or C crimes are less serious crimes. There are also “Unclassified Misdemeanors” or crimes that do not fit into the general categories. These offenses may be unique or involve a new issue.
Punishments for Misdemeanor
Matthew Jube, Attorney at Law’s misdemeanor attorney in Provo, says convicted individuals can have the criminal record for life. Consequences also include significant fines, county jail, and probation. Some states will also require attendance in mandatory classes and loss of rights to possess firearms or weapons. In DUI, for instance, convicted drivers may face suspension of license, imprisonment, and community service.
Certain penalties like the criminal record may also result in collateral consequences such as the trouble of getting a job or denial of professional license. Those involved in drug-related activities, on the other hand, may not be eligible for public housing and other public benefits.
Factors Affecting the Consequences
The consequences, of course, depend on the severity of the crime and the extent of injury or damage. Prior convictions, as well as aggravating circumstances can also affect the punishment for misdemeanors. Repeat convictions, for the most part, can result in more severe penalties.
In some cases, a person facing a criminal lawsuit of a misdemeanor may also face civil liability. This happens that a person may need to pay money for the victim’s injuries, discomfort, and pain and suffering. Compensation may also be required for medical expenses, lost wages, as well as emotional injuries.
Those accused of a misdemeanor needs to contact a criminal defense or a misdemeanor attorney. This is to help them learn more about their rights, the law system, and the available defenses.