Updated: Apr 1, 2019
What if you got into trouble one night and the police say you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. What do you do? Knowledge about criminal law is important to protect your rights. Today, let us talk about what misdemeanor is and why you need a criminal defense lawyer in Nashville to face it.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony vs. Infraction
It is easier to define and understand misdemeanor when it is compared with other offenses. A misdemeanor charge is in the middle of felony and infraction. It is less serious than felony crimes but is more severe than an infraction. Offenses under misdemeanor are punishable with less than a year of jail time and monetary fines.
Infractions are also known as a petty offense which only violates ordinances or municipal regulations. Most states do not consider infraction as a crime. Rarely that it is not punishable with jail time but if it is, maximum would be minimal confinement in the local jail. Samples are littering, jaywalking, boating violations, and disturbing peace. Some infractions can elevate to a misdemeanor.
Felony is the highest form of crime among the three. We are talking about jail time for more than a year up to life imprisonment or the death penalty. These crimes cause severe injury to people or damage to property. Examples are murder, arson, rape, and battery.
What are considered misdemeanors?
Under the Tennessee Law, misdemeanors types can be classified into three:
● Misdemeanor Class A- If you’re convicted with class A misdemeanor, you can be behind bars up to 11 months and 29 days. You may also pay up to $2,500.00 worth of fines. Examples of crimes under this class are domestic assault, marijuana possession (half an ounce of marijuana), drug paraphernalia, theft, assault, and DUI or drunk driving.
● Misdemeanor Class B- Jail time for this class is only up to six months and fine is a maximum of $500. Examples of Class B misdemeanors are reckless driving, prostitution, and pimping.
● Misdemeanor Class C- Crimes under this class are usually related to regulatory and motor vehicles offenses like wildlife violations, speeding, and other petty violations. If convicted, you’ll be in jail for 30 days or $50 worth of fines or both.
If you have been charged with any of these misdemeanor offenses, call a criminal defense attorney in Nashville immediately. Misdemeanors can become a felony if you take matters into your own hands.
Do misdemeanors go on your record?
Though misdemeanors are less serious crimes than a felony, they are still crimes. Once you’re arrested for any misdemeanor class, they will be put on records. An example is when you get DUI arrest, you’ll be taken to the police station and you’ll be booked. They will take your personal information, your fingerprints, and picture. That’s how you get a misdemeanor record.
Can you get a job with a misdemeanor on your record?
You should be really careful to commit any, no matter how petty they are. Your future employee or even the current one can easily run a background check. It now depends on the employer whether he likes to hire you or not. Well, don’t take your chances. Do not commit any crime.
If you have more questions about misdemeanor and other related crimes in criminal law, comment them below. And if you’ve been involved in a crime or someone you love did, don’t delay! Contact me now as your criminal defense lawyer in Nashville, TN.