A misdemeanor is a criminal conviction with penalties of up to a year of jail time. Misdemeanors are usually punishable with a fine, probation, jail time, or a combination including of all these. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but more serious than infractions.
What Crimes are Misdemeanors?
What’s considered a misdemeanor varies by jurisdiction. Generally, crimes like vandalism, public intoxication, trespassing, theft under $1,000.00, DUI, and disorderly conduct are misdemeanors.
Misdemeanor Charges in Tennessee
In Tennessee, there are three classes of misdemeanors: A, B, and C. A misdemeanor in Tennessee carries these penalties:
- Class A: Up to 11 months, 29 days in jail and/or fines up to $2,500. Examples include domestic assault, DUI and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Class B: Not more than six months in jail and/or fines up to $500. Examples include prostitution and reckless driving.
- Class C: Not more than 30 days in jail and/or fines up to $50. Examples include speeding and public intoxication.
Although misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, misdemeanor charges do go on your record for life. They can affect your ability to land a job, buy a house, or get licenses you need. Employers are generally less concerned with misdemeanors than with felonies, but that can vary. It depends on the employer, the nature of the crime, and how recently the crime was committed. For example, a public intoxication conviction that’s 15 years old may not be an issue, but a recent prostitution charge could keep you from getting a job.
A misdemeanor charge is something to take seriously, because a conviction typically can’t be expunged and will forever stay on your permanent record. That’s why it’s important to quickly hire a criminal attorney with experience handling cases like yours.
Related topic: How Arrest Warrants Work
Even if you’re not convicted, simply having a dismissed charge or an arrest for a misdemeanor can negatively impact your job prospects, so it’s always a good idea to work with a criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer may work with you to get your record expunged.
Facing Misdemeanor Charges in Tennessee? Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges often result in fines, jail time, stress, and even job loss. If you need help addressing your Class A, B, or C misdemeanor charges, contact our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys today at 423-531-2800 for a free consultation.