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What are the Different Types of Misdemeanors?

Depending on the severity of the offense, a crime could be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors themselves have different classifications, as well. While all misdemeanors are considered “lesser” crimes, punishable by up to a year in jail, community service, probation and/or fines, they may also be grouped into different categories depending on the type of offense.

The following are the three most basic categories of misdemeanors:

  • Crimes against a person. These types of crimes are committed against a specific group or person. For example, assault is a physical attack on another person, although misdemeanor assault does not involve a weapon or result in serious injuries. Another example of a crime in this category is harassment, or the continued unwanted action toward another group or person that causes the victims to fear for their safety.
  • Crimes against public safety/order. These types of crimes could jeopardize the safety of anyone nearby. Examples include disorderly conduct, prostitution, driving under the influence (DUI), open container violations and public intoxication.
  • Crimes against property. These are crimes that involve damaging, taking or entering another person’s property without permission. Common examples include trespassing, vandalism and theft.

Some crimes in these categories may be considered severe enough to be classified as felonies, in which case the potential penalties the defendant faces would be more serious. It’s largely up to prosecutors as to the type of criminal offense to which you’ll be charged.

If you could use sound legal representation for a criminal defense issue in Maryland, speak with a dedicated La Plata attorney at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A.

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