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Definition - What does misdemeanor mean?

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is treated by the courts as more serious than an infraction, but less serious than a felony. A misdemeanor is tried in the lower courts such as municipal or traffic courts and the punishment for such an offense is usually either a fine, community service, or jail time of less than one year.

SureHire explains misdemeanor

The classification of a misdemeanor differs across states, however, it is typically categorized using the order of Class A being the most severe, followed by Class B and C, indicating a decrease in severity of the offense and the potential prison sentence that may be given. Reckless conduct, traffic offenses, petty theft, receiving of stolen goods, and driving under the influence without physical endangerment are criminal offenses that are often regarded as misdemeanors.

A misdemeanor differs from a felony in the graveness of the damages inflicted, be it physical or property.

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