What the laws say about misdemeanors

It is the established judicial system and its enforcement by the political regime that allows civil society to function in the order that it does. In many parts of the world with a skewed judicial system or those with none at all, civilians experience degraded lifestyle and lack of stability. Judicial systems and the laws they are based on form a fundamental part of modern life. Under these laws, any criminal act is categorized under different sections to promote fast and fair justice. One such category of criminal activity are misdemeanors. In this article, we take a look at the laws that govern misdemeanors.

What are misdemeanors?

Misdemeanors are common offenses that are committed by persons in public without serious harm being meted out to any concerned party. For example, a case of drunk driving without harming anyone may be registered as a misdemeanor. However, if the person injures another individual seriously during the course of their driving in stupor, a larger case of felony may be launched against them. Other crimes that can be called misdemeanors include but are not restricted to disturbing civilian peace, simple assault and theft at a commoner level.

How are misdemeanors punishable?

The punishment meted out to those that commit misdemeanors are one of the primary factors used to judge the crime as a misdemeanor. By legal ruling, those that commit these petty crimes cannot be sentenced to federal prisons and serve their sentence in the city or county jail. According to the seriousness of the crime, the criminal can either be released with a fine or awarded a sentence. The sentence can go up to a period of one year in a correctional facility. The misdemeanors are further classified into classes such as A, B and C with each class having its own degree of punishment.

Misdemeanors vs. Felonies

Crimes that are more serious than misdemeanors are termed as felonies. Felonies include but are not restricted to criminal activities involving violence such as aggravated assault and drunk driving resulting in casualties or bodily harm. In many cases, the distinction of a crime as misdemeanor or felony is within the decisive sphere of the judge presiding over the case. Felonies are punishable by a term in the federal prison which can go well over the one year limit prescribed for misdemeanors. As is with the latter, the sentences awarded for felonies depend on the seriousness of the crime.