Term of the Day
Definition - What does Gross Misdemeanor mean?
A gross misdemeanor is a crime committed that is greater or more serious than a regular misdemeanor, but is still considered a minor crime, and receives less punishment than a serious crime would. Crimes that might be looped into the gross misdemeanor category include:
- Petty theft
- Simple assault
- Indecent exposure
- False imprisonment
- Illegal posession of drugs or alcohol
- Unlawful use of hotel keys
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Driving under the influence of drugs
In other cases, when a person attempts to commit a class C, D, or E crime or felony but does not succeed, it could be considered a gross misdemeanor or a felony itself, depending on what the judge decides considering the specific case itself. These type of situations are called "wobbler crimes."
Punishments for Gross Misdemeanors
Since gross misdemeanors are a minor crime, if it is a person's first run in with the law and it falls under the gross misdemeanor category, the offender could avoid jail time if the judge deems appropriate. However, in most cases, gross misdemeanors will remain on a person's criminal record, no matter if they are a first time offender or not.
The maximum sentences for gross misdemeanors in most states include:
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $5,000
- Up to one year in county jail
However, again, if you're a first time offender, the defense attorney could work it out with the courts to throw out jail time or heavy fines with other punishment options. Those options can include but are not limited to:
- Minimal jail time
- Community service
- Smaller fines
- Educational classes
- Rehabilitation programs