Imagine you get arrested and are sitting in the back of a cop car. You were doing who knows what and maybe even questioning your arrest in the first place.
Now, you are facing a court appearance, and are getting a better idea of what you are being charged with. Is it a misdemeanor or a felony?
Today, we are here to talk about misdemeanor crimes. It is the lesser of the two levels, but still should be treated seriously, especially in Georgia.
You might be asking, what is a misdemeanor crime? Is there a list of misdemeanor crimes?
These are some of the most common offenses and what you should know.
Georgia is not like most states when it comes to misdemeanors. Here, every type of misdemeanor carries a possibility of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
But, Georgia also has a higher level of misdemeanors called “High And Aggravated Misdemeanor.” These misdemeanors also carry a penalty of up to one year in jail BUT have a maximum fine of $5,000 rather than $1,000.
The good news about this one is that it is down significantly in the last decade. Nevertheless, it is still, unfortunately, one of the more common misdemeanors with just over 19,000 convictions in Georgia in 2019.
Most of these convictions are from people getting charged with their first DUI. In fact, about 86% of the convictions were from first-time offenders, and that is a good thing if you learn your lesson after that.
You see, in Georgia, it’s left up to the judge’s discretion in some cases whether or not to charge someone with a High And Aggravated Misdemeanor. Most of the time this level is for when you are a repeat offender.
For example, from the first to the third DUI charge on you, not only does the level of charge go up but so do all of the penalties that go with it. This includes enforced time in jail, fines paid, length of license suspension, community service hours, and increased probation time.
You do not want to be a repeat offender in this category, especially in Georgia. Visit this website to keep reading about DUI charges.
This is another common misdemeanor charge, as it is mainly a nice way of saying you were too drunk or under the influence to cooperate smoothly in most cases.
In Georgia, disorderly conduct is acting violently or tumultuously or using vulgar or abusive language. It is technically cited as breaking the established peace.
As stated above, this is usually a charge for when a drunk person cannot efficiently cooperate or reason with, so sometimes an alcohol awareness class is recommended by a judge.
In most cases, probation will be ordered rather than jail time. Also, a minimal fine and maybe community service.
This is attempting to violently injure another person, or actually injuring them. This is another one that can be a bar fight or just a simple dispute.
If you punch somebody in the face or even knock them out, you could be facing this charge. It is something that is easy to happen at a bar or a large event with a lot of alcohol and other supplements, but the state of Georgia does take the charge seriously with the misdemeanor repercussions.
The best tip here is to try to control your emotions here, and control what you indulge if you are more likely to commit assault under the influence.
This can be a difficult topic, as some drugs are very easily abused. Getting caught with the wrong one can even be a felony.
However, some drug charges are more serious than others. Common knowledge is that it is almost always better to be the buyer rather than the seller for drug possession charges.
But, even if you are the buyer, there are some drugs that are just more serious than a misdemeanor. Drugs in Georgia are classified into five classes, Schedule I-V.
Schedules III, IV, and V are considered the less serious drugs, and thus, misdemeanors rather than felonies. These include drugs such as Xanax, Valium, steroids, and marijuana.
Unfortunately, some of the lesser drugs are the ones most commonly abused. Marijuana and prescribed pain killers top the list of most abused drugs, which would fall in the misdemeanor category.
Theft is one of the most common misdemeanor charges around, let alone in Georgia. Sometimes it can be out of desperation, like making sure your family has another meal.
Other times, it is pure materialistic greed. Nevertheless, theft falls under the misdemeanor category and is the taking of someone else’s property.
Shoplifting is also commonly grouped in with theft charges. This is the attempt to steal something in a store and getting caught in the act.
There is one catch though. The value of the property stolen has to be valued at $500 or less for it to be considered just a misdemeanor.
While technically a misdemeanor, sometimes this is considered a win to be charged with that. Some people fighting DUIs will end up settling for a reckless driving charge rather than the DUI on their record.
Unlike a DUI, this does not come with an automatic license suspension. Instead, it is usually four points on your license. There is also a little more discretion for the judge in these situations, as there is no minimum charge for reckless driving.
However, it still should be treated as a serious offense, especially in Georgia, as there is also discretion to put somebody in jail for up to a year and charge them $1,000. It is not as serious as a DUI, but still more serious than several other driving offenses and serious enough to have to go to court for it.
Learn More About Misdemeanor Crimes
Are you surprised about any of the misdemeanors listed here? Did you find misdemeanor crimes that you or someone you know may need representation for?