A misdemeanor crime is a minor offense and more often than not requires no more than the following:
- A year in prison
- Community service
A felony is a more serious crime with stronger consequences. Felony crimes include crimes such as:
- Identity theft
Fortunately, with a misdemeanor, it is easier to time in jail with misdemeanor crimes than with felonies.
Common Misdemeanor Crimes
Common misdemeanor crimes include:
- Marijuana possession
- Resisting arrest
- Disorderly conduct
- Violating a restraining order
There are misdemeanors that can quickly escalate into felonies or can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. These crimes are called wobblers. Essentially, A “wobbler” is a criminal offense that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor violation. In the world of criminal law, there are several common offenses that a prosecutor can choose to charge as either a misdemeanor or depending upon the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. Threatening to assault someone would be considered a misdemeanor while committing the assault, even more so if a weapon is involved, would be a felony.
Misdemeanors Can Show Up on Background Checks
Misdemeanor crimes can definitely show up on background checks, as they stay on a person’s criminal record indefinitely. However, whether or not they will is another question. If a misdemeanor is prosecuted locally, and a background check is only done on a state or federal level, the misdemeanor charge likely won’t show up. What’s more, even if an employer runs a local background check, more than likely, the misdemeanor will not appear on the background check if it was prosecuted in a different county.
A Misdemeanor is an Offense
So in short, a misdemeanor is a minor offense that the government punishes with:
- Community services
- Up to a year in prison
While there are some differences between states on what exactly is considered a misdemeanor, the level of punishment is a good indication of whether or not that state considers the crime a misdemeanor or a felony.