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What Is A Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a lesser criminal act in many common law systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies. Many misdemeanors are punished with fines, but defendants can be subject to jail time.

Depending on the jurisdiction, examples of misdemeanors may include, petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct, trespass, vandalism, and other similar crimes.

In the United States, misdemeanors are crimes with a maximum punishment of twelve months in jail.

Misdemeanors usually don't result in the loss of civil rights, but if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you might find it difficult to obtain a professional license or public employment.

People who are convicted of a misdemeanor are often punished with probation, community service, or part-time imprisonment on a weekend basis.

Depending on your record, the General Assembly has introduced pieces of legislation's that would allow criminal defendants to erase or expunge different types of criminal convictions. Until these laws have been passed, the possibilities on getting an expungement are very limited. As of now, only certain kinds of charges can be erased.

A dismissal is when the prosecutor decides to drop the case. Most of the time, a dismissal occurs after the assistant district attorney reviews the evidence and decides the that the case is not strong enough for a conviction.

If a case is dismissed against you, you will not have a criminal conviction. If an employer does a criminal background check, your record will show that you were charged, but the case was dismissed.

An expungement is when all charges are erased. If other cases are later dismissed, evidence of those dismissal will show up on your record. Misdemeanors are expunged under penal code 1203.4 known as a petition for dismissal of conviction. Those eligible for this petition did not serve jail time, or were placed on probation.



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