Every state puts crime into different categories- felony, misdemeanor and infraction. While the laws vary for each category by state, misdemeanors generally include petty theft, traffic violations, DUI, simple assault or harassment. In most states, they carry up to a year in jail or payment of a fine.
What is a Misdemeanor?
Misdemeanors are crimes which are considered less serious than felonies and bigger than infractions. In most states, these are classified into three categories – Class A, Class B and Class C. The last one is the least severe. Though a misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, there might still be some serious consequences for those who commit them.
Types of Misdemeanors
Every state has its own system for classifying misdemeanors. In most states, they are classified into either Class 1 through Class 3, or Class A through Class C.
Here are some misdemeanors in each class:
Class A Misdemeanors
- Unlawful carriage of weapons
- Theft more than US $500 but less than US $1,500
- DWI (second offense)
- Possessing 2-4 ounces of marijuana
Class B Misdemeanors
- DWI (first offense)
- Possessing less than two ounces of marijuana
- Theft of more than US $50 but less than US $500
Class C Misdemeanors
- Traffic tickets
- Simple assault
- Public intoxication
- Disorderly conduct
The Bail Process
Though misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies, the defendants have the same rights to trial. The defendants have to appear in front of a jury which comprises six members who unanimously agree on the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Misdemeanor cases do not go for a full trial. If the defendant is declared guilty, a probation period is given along with a fine and community service.
Jail term is applicable in the case of Class A and Class B misdemeanors. Obtaining bail for a misdemeanor is more affordable compared to obtaining bail for a felony and is easier to process as well. A misdemeanor bail bond is as binding as a bail bond for a felony. Bail for a misdemeanor is determined on a number of factors like- criminal history, nature of the crime and financial status of the accused. Many misdemeanor cases are resolved without a full trial but you need an initial court appearance to file a plea.
If you or your friend or a family member has been charged or arrested for any misdemeanors, you can contact Signature Bail Bonds, a leading bail bond agency in Orange County. Call us at (714) 240-2245 and we will help you quickly process bail for misdemeanors.
Also Read: DUI Arrest? Know What You Should Do Next