Criminal Law and Procedure Misdemeanors Law and Legal Definition

A misdemeanor is s minor crime that is less serious than a felony. Misdemeanors are punishable by fine or imprisonment in a city or county jail. Misdemeanors are distinguished from felonies, which can be punished by a state prison term. They are tried in the lowest local court such as municipal, police or justice courts. Examples of misdemeanors include: petty theft, disturbing the peace, simple assault and battery, public intoxication, various traffic violations, public nuisances and some crimes which can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances and the discretion of the District Attorney.