What Is a Gross Misdemeanor?

An offense classified as a gross misdemeanor is more severe than a misdemeanor but less profound than a felony. Driving while under the influence, certain forms of violence, and petty theft are all examples of high gross misdemeanors that might differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

For those who have committed a serious offense, community service could be part of their sentence. Sentence determination is typically left to judges, who consult legislatively established sentencing guidelines for guidance on punishing offenders.

What Is a Gross Misdemeanor
What Is a Gross Misdemeanor

What is a Gross Misdemeanor?

In Minnesota, a “gross misdemeanor” is a crime that carries severe penalties, usually resulting in a potential jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $3,000. Examples of gross misdemeanors include assault, driving under the influence, theft, burglary, and arson. The investigation process for gross misdemeanors can sometimes take months or even years to complete, which can add additional stress to an already difficult situation.

Additionally, some misdemeanor offenses may be elevated to the more severe category of gross misdemeanors through statutory enhancement measures.

A conviction for a serious misdemeanor usually has specific “collateral effects,” such as jail time and fines. An individual may face collateral consequences, or civil sanctions, due to a criminal conviction.

The suspension of a driver’s license, the suspension or cancellation of a professional license, and, in the case of lawful immigrants, the revocation of permanent legal residency are all collateral implications that can come from a conviction for a high misdemeanor.

See Also: Class A Misdemeanor In Indiana

Misdemeanor vs Gross Misdemeanor – The Main Difference

Even while misdemeanor convictions result in less jail time than felony convictions, offenders still must serve their sentences. Different levels of seriousness are assigned to different types of offenses.

Offenses that fall into simple felonies are the least serious. At the same time, gross misdemeanors are much more serious than simple misdemeanors but less serious than a felony. A severe misdemeanor conviction carries a harsher penalty than a misdemeanor conviction since the action required to receive such a verdict is more egregious.

There are two main types of criminal offenses: misdemeanors and felonies. Murder, rape, burglary, and significant drug offenses all fall under the category of felonies. Crimes classified as misdemeanors are considered less severe than felonies. Infractions are a type of crime recognized by some states and are even less severe than misdemeanors.

Compared to other types of criminal offenses, such as felonies, gross misdemeanors are considered relatively minor. On the other hand, having a significant misdemeanor on your record might have severe repercussions in terms of employment and access to services and organizations that require legal or background checks.

However, in the absence of further charges, a severe misdemeanor can be wiped from a person’s record in the same way that misdemeanors are.

What is the Punishment for a Gross or Serious Misdemeanor?

When convicted of a gross misdemeanor or serious misdemeanor, you could face the following punishments:

  • Jail term of up to one year
  • Fines
  • Restitution.

Some misdemeanors will result in longer prison terms than others. In addition, the penalty for misdemeanors will increase in proportion to the gravity of the offense. Restitution is monetary compensation awarded to a victim by the court at the victim’s request or the victim’s family.

What is the Punishment for a Gross or Serious Misdemeanor?
What is the Punishment for a Gross or Serious Misdemeanor?

The preceding punishments are just some of the ones that can be imposed for a gross misdemeanor. The penalties will be different in each state.

Do I need a Criminal Defense Attorney to help with Gross Misdemeanor Charges?

Yes, you should talk to a seasoned criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with a serious misdemeanor. A conviction for a misdemeanor can have substantial consequences, including time spent in jail. If you end yourself in court, an attorney can help you evaluate your case, figure out your options, and argue on your behalf.

A lawyer may be capable of negotiating a lighter charge and plea bargain on your behalf. As part of a deal to get a guilty plea, prosecutors sometimes drop or reduce accusations in exchange for the defendant’s cooperation. Plea bargains are only sometimes in your best interest. Therefore it’s wise to talk to an attorney before accepting one.

Also Read: Is Spitting on Someone a Crime?


What is a gross misdemeanor in Washington state?

In Washington, a crime is considered a gross misdemeanor if it falls short of being categorized as a felony or a simple misdemeanor. A severe misdemeanor may result in up to 364 days in county prison and a penalty of up to $5,000.

What is the lowest level of a misdemeanor?

A Class C felony is the second-highest category of a criminal offense. Zero to thirty days in jail would be the punishment for such infractions.

What is the most common misdemeanor?

Trespassing, vandalism, disorderly behavior, and drug offenses are all frequently charged as misdemeanors.