There are often several categories of crime in a jurisdiction. One common category is known as misdemeanors. These crimes are usually slightly to moderately serious. Examples of misdemeanor charges include shoplifting, public drunkenness, and driving under the influence (DUI).
Shoplifting is a criminal act that involves stealing goods that are available for purchase in a store. There are several ways this crime can be executed. A person may attempt to wear something out of a store as if she owned it when she entered or she may try to hide an item in her purse and leave without paying. Her manner of stealing is generally less important than the value. Shoplifting charges generally only refer to theft that does not exceed a certain amount, such as $500 US Dollars (USD).
It is not generally against the law to drink alcohol or to get drunk. It is, however, illegal in many jurisdictions to appear in public while intoxicated. Public drunkenness is one of the misdemeanor charges that generally does not result in incarceration for a first offense. A person is generally ordered to pay a fine and the costs of court.
A DUI is another of the misdemeanor charges that commonly involves the consumption of alcohol. A person who commits this crime violates the law by driving when he has consumed more alcohol than the law allows for those who operate motor vehicles. A person can also violate this law by driving while intoxicated with prescription or illicit substances. This is one of the misdemeanor charges that can become a felony if a person has multiple offenses.
Prostitution and soliciting prostitution are misdemeanor charges in many jurisdictions. Prostitution refers to the criminal offense of offering sex or sexual activities in exchange for money. Soliciting prostitution refers to charges that result when a person is caught attempting to purchase sex or sexual activities.
Possession of marijuana is one of the misdemeanor charges that greatly varies from one jurisdiction to another. In most jurisdictions where marijuana is illegal, possession is only considered a misdemeanor when certain circumstances exist. For example, the amount should not exceed what the government has defined as the personal use limit. Generally, sale of marijuana may also escalate the charges beyond a misdemeanor.
A person cannot generally rely on any list of misdemeanor charges to guide his behavior. This is because these charges can greatly vary from one jurisdiction to another. Although certain crimes are commonly misdemeanors, there may be some jurisdictions where those acts are felonies or where they are legal.