Misdemeanor Guide

Georgia Misdemeanor

In Georgia, unlike other states, each misdemeanor is punishable in the same way - unless otherwise defined: a fine no more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment in a county jail or correctional institution for no more than twelve months; both; or confinement under the Board of Corrections jurisdiction in a county or state correctional institution or other institution as directed by the Department of Corrections for more than six months but no more than twelve months.

At times a fine and jail time may be given, but sometimes only one depending on the sentencing judge. Suspension and probation may also be misdemeanor punishment in Georgia. The court has the ability to alter a sentencing, but the Board of Corrections will not allow any altering of an outstanding sentence once in place.

Juvenile Misdemeanants
If an individual is between the ages of sixteen and eighteen at the time of the crime and who is found guilty, will be charged with confinement under the Board of Corrections jurisdiction for no more than twelve months or be fined for no more than one thousand dollars.

Criminal Offense Categories
Criminal offenses fall under seven categories and vary depending on severity and circumstance. Under these an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Serious Traffic Violations
Several DUI convictions can amount to heightened charges known as serious traffic violations. These can increase from a misdemeanor to a felony when involved in a traffic accident that results in the death of another.

Property Crimes
Property crimes deemed as misdemeanors include theft and shoplifting of three hundred dollars or less. This changes to a felony when there is burglary, arson, forgery, or robbery.

Sex Crimes
Misdemeanor sex crimes include sexual batter, indecent exposure, and pandering. Felony sex crimes include child molestation, possession of child pornography, and rape. Punishment escalade accordingly.

Violent Crimes
Violent crimes include an act of violence towards another individual either verbally, mentally, or physically. Misdemeanor examples include battery, assault, and stalking. Felonies include manslaughter, murder, and aggravated assault.

Drug Crimes
Drug crimes circle around distribution, possession, and the sale of illegal drugs. The conviction between a felony and a misdemeanor in this category depends on the amount and weight of the drug.

Crimes Against Public Order or Administration
Crimes involving an offense against a government institution or a public official or the breach of public peace fall under public order crimes. Misdemeanors include public drunkenness, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct. Felonies include treason, violation of an oath of office, and violent obstruction towards a police officer.

Domestic Violence Crimes
Domestic violence crimes are misdemeanors that are treated like felonies when the offense is against a spouse, child, or close family member. These charges cannot be dismissed once prosecution has begun. Punishments vary and increase depending on the severity of the crime.

Georgia Misdemeanor Expungement
Criminal records can be sealed, which include the records of the charges and the arrest. A particular amount of time must be waited before expungement can be pursued and only those without conviction are eligible. The court will take the severity of the crime and the individual's age into account when making a decision. Those under the age of eighteen at the time of the crime will often receive expungement regardless of the charges.

See also:
Georgia Felony External link (opens in new window)
Georgia Expungement External link (opens in new window)
Georgia Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)