In the District of Columbia a misdemeanor is defined as
Misdemeanors make up 80 percent of U.S. criminal dockets. See
Misdemeanors, 11 Ann. Rev. L. & Soc. Sci. 255 (2015). Most convictions in this country are for misdemeanors. Most people do not realize that you can be convicted of a criminal offense that carries no jail. Yes, you can go to jail for an arrest even though the statute carries no jail time. See ATWATER v. CITY OF LAGO VISTA
Misdemeanors Have Collateral Consequences
Petty crimes can have life-altering consequences. This blog would be a 1000 pages long if I told you ever collateral consequences. For example, you can be barred from entering certain counties just for receiving a misdemeanor conviction. Other collateral consequences can include license suspension, evicted from low-rent housing, barred from certain jobs, and barred from certain professional organizations, etc.
It Can Even Impeach a President
Remember the Constitution sets specific grounds for impeachment – “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors. So even the President of United States can be impeached for a misdemeanor.
If You Are Arrested, Take it Seriously.
District of Columbia and Maryland have revamped their expungement laws to address some of these issues by
If you want to learn more about the injustice of the misdemeanor system. take a look at
‘Punishment Without Crime.’ She states, 13 million misdemeanors are filed each year in the U.S., trapping the innocent, punishing the poor and making society more unequal.