Black's Law Dictionary Definition

Offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine, penalty, forfeiture, or imprisonment otherwise than in a penitentiary. Under federal law and most state laws, any offense other than a felony is classified as a misdemeanor.


A misdemeanor is a lesser criminal act, and usually punished less than a felony which is a more serious criminal act. The more serious crimes, felonies, can be separated into Class A, B, C, or D. As well as misdemeanors can be separated (based on the severity) into Class A, B, C, D, and infractions.

Fines for misdemeanors and infractions

Effective January 1, 2017

Misdemeanors are offenses defined by statute and punishable by a fine and/or county jail time for up to one year. Misdemeanors are further classified by the amount of incarceration time which can be imposed by a judge. Misdemeanor classifications:

  • Class A Misdemeanor – up to one year in jail; a fine not to exceed $2,000.
  • Class B Misdemeanor – up to six months in jail; a fine not to exceed $1,000.
  • Class C Misdemeanor – up to fifteen days in jail; a fine not to exceed $700.
  • Class D Misdemeanor – a fine not to exceed $500.
  • Unclassified Misdemeanor – found in applicable Missouri statute.



Contact David

If you have had any form of misdemeanor, legal counseling is needed. David Whipple is not a criminal defense attorney but depending on the situation he may be able to help. If he cannot, he will recommend the best attorney for your situation. Call The Whipple Law Firm, P.C. today for a free 30-minute consultation. Or use the contact form.

The material provided is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be considered legal advice and not to be construed as legal representation.