Spotlight On: Misdemeanors

In a perfect world, there would be no crime and everyone would live in peace and harmony.  Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. People commit crimes all the time but we can take some comfort in knowing that the majority of crimes being committed are misdemeanors and not felonies!


Misdemeanors are lesser crimes.  They are more serious than mere citations but are not as serious as felonies.  Misdemeanors are crimes that generally aren’t too serious or severe and penalties may involve jail time but it’s usually not a lot.  Things like DUI offenses, theft, larceny, drug possession, and perjury fall under the category of misdemeanors but there are many more.  Felonies are generally more severe crimes like murder, sexual assault, manslaughter, arson, and burglary. However, the lines between misdemeanor and felony are sometimes blurry.


Some crimes can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the crime.  If you steal a necklace from the dollar store, for example, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor but if you steal a necklace from Tiffany’s, it’s worth alone makes the crime a felony.  These offenses are known as “wobblers” because they wobble between both classifications.  

Wobblers are dependant on an aggravating factor such as someone being killed during the commission of a crime; the crime will almost certainly be charged as a felony.  

Sometimes it’s possible to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor charge during the plea process which would mean less jail time and possibly lower fines.  This all depends on whether or not there were aggravating factors, and the court will also look at the defendant’s prior criminal record to make a decision.  


Misdemeanors, like felonies, are usually broken down into subcategories called Classes such as Class A, Class B, Class C or Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, depending on the laws of the state.  The lower the number or letter, the more severe the crime. For example, a Class A misdemeanor such as Simple Assault is more severe and will have a higher penalty than a Class C misdemeanor like Driving without a Valid License.  


The consequences of committing a misdemeanor can vary greatly from state to state but fines typically are $1,000 or under with up to a year or less in jail but some states go as high as $5,000 with 5 years in jail. With misdemeanors, any jail time is usually served at a county facility rather than a state prison.  The amounts of jail time and fines are usually broken down between the different classes of misdemeanors.  

If you or a loved one is arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony, Mercy Bail Bonds is here help. Mercy is a full-service bail bond agency serving Pasco County, New Port Richey, throughout Florida, and the entire U.S. Our professional bond agents are available 24/7 to get the process started and get you or your loved out of jail. Call Mercy today at (727) 856-7775. We always answer!