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Misdemeanor occupies the middle ground of crime classification in the criminal law, being a less serious class of crime than felony, and more serious than infraction. Misdemeanor convictions are typically punishable by a sentence of one year or less in jail, moderate fines, house-arrest, time served on weekends, probation, community service, or several of these punishments mixed into a lovely jurisprudence cocktail.
The collateral consequences of misdemeanor convictions - additional penalizations that may hinder the misdemeanant's re-entry into society - are not nearly as severe as those imposed on felons. A misdemeanor conviction could result in the loss of a license or exclusion from certain kinds of employment, but misdemeanants will retain their fundamental civil rights, such as the right to vote and the right to run for and be elected to public office.
Petty theft, prostitution, public intoxication, first-time drunk driving, vandalisation, tresspass, disorderly conduct and leaving the scene of an accident are a few common examples of misdemeanors.
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