A misdemeanor is an offense for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment not in excess of one year may be imposed. Even though misdemeanors carry shorter jail times than felonies, they can still be just as serious. Some common misdemeanors include the following offenses:
Some offenses may be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on certain factors. For example, possession or distribution of narcotics could be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the amount of drugs involved. Larceny, retail fraud, and similar offenses would depend on the value of the property taken. Similarly, in some situations a misdemeanor offense can rise to the level of a felony if the suspect has previous convictions or if there are other aggravating circumstances.