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What is a "Misdemeanor"?

Updated: Sep 20, 2017

A full misdemeanor is any offense punishible by over six months, up to one year of incarceration and/or a $2000 fine. A petty misdemeanor is any offense punishable by less than six months in jail and/or up to $1000 fine. If you are charged with a full misdemeanor you are also entitled to a jury trial. A petty misdemeanor, however, does not carry a right to a jury trial. Both ARE criminal offenses however and will show up on criminal background checks. Both can cause you problems entering into other countries when you travel. Both can cause you problems when you apply for jobs. Some common full misdemeanors are Assault in the 3rd Degree, Terroristic Threatening in the Second Degree, Abuse of a Family or Household Member, and TRO Violations. Some common petty misdemeanors include most traffic crimes, Promoting a Detrimental Drug in the Third Degree, Harassment and Disorderly Conduct. If you are charged with any of these offenses you should consult with an experienced criminal attorney to explore your options.


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