There are many crimes that are identified by every state and the federal criminal code as less serious than the felonies. These crimes are called misdemeanours. Usually they result in a sentence up to a year or maybe less in county jail instead of state prison. These crimes are father categorised in to different classes in different states such as in a particular state, shoplifting might be a class B misdemeanour and it can cause a fine of up to $2,000 and possible sentence up to six months in jail. It is easy to learn the sentence for each given crime by grouping such misdemeanour and many states have done that for the sole purpose. As in state the lawmakers also designated a class to crime while defining it in each statue. This makes it easy to keep track of felonies and those crimes which are not felonies. So, it becomes easy for the jury to decide if the crime that are judging is worth their time or it’s just a class b demeanour with pre-defined punishment.
The other states in United States use the word “Levels” instead of classes but the function of it it’s the same and it defines the category of the misdemeanour and if you know a class or the level of the misdemeanour then you can easily refer to the statue of each state and learn about its potential sentence.
However not all the states have the system of defined classes of misdemeanour in there statue and instead the punishment for each crime is written in the statue itself and they give sentence and penalties on crime by crime basis.
In many states the Class B misdemeanours are among the least serious crimes and have less penalties as compared to felonies however they are still a serious matter as they can cause a lifetime negative impact on the person. Different states have different crimes categorized in Class B demeanour and one crime can be a Class B misdemeanour in one state while in another it can be in another category or no crime at all.
Following eight states have different sorts of the crimes which are included in Class B misdemeanour. These states include Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Ohio and Kentucky. These states have following crimes categorized in Class B misdemeanours.
• Arkansas — Prostitution
• Illinois – Window peeking
• Oregon – Carrying a concealed weapon
• Tennessee — Prostitution
• Texas – Possession of marijuana up to 2 ounces
• Alabama – Cruelty to animals
Minimum and Maximum Sentences
If you have not convicted a crime before or have not committed a serious crime then there is a fair chance that you will avoid any jail time. And you may also be able to prevent having misdemeanour conviction on your permanent records. For class b misdemeanour the range of presumptive sentences ranges from six months in jail time in states like Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Oregon to minimum of 15 days in Missouri. Similarly the jury has the right to fine the convicted fellow and it ranges from $3,000 in Alabama, $2,500 In Kentucky and $2,500 in Oregon and to a minimum of $300 in Missouri.
When it comes to saving you from penalties an experienced attorney specialized in criminal defines can be quite helpful in negotiating with prosecutors to find alternative for the jail and settle with them on those conditions. It is really important that you avoid jail time but the main goal here is not to avoid jail time only but also to avoid having the conviction on your criminal records as this has a very negative impact on your life.
Many states in the United States have the law for the first offenders. This law is called as the First Offender’s Act. Arkansas has this law and according to this law the first time offenders who have no previous criminal records and have not committed crimes in the past can plead in front of jury. Then they will be set on a yearlong probation but the good thing about that is that they will avoid the jail time. If the convicted person doesn’t commit any crime during that probation period then the state drops the charges and the person can walk free. It is really good to give people a second chance to prove themselves as humans always make mistake and more often the innocent ones get caught so it’s really good method to tackle that situation.
Other states have similar programs as that of Arkansas and one is called the Suspended Imposition of Sentence program in Missouri. The concept of this program is same as that of the First Offender’s Act. Here the offenders plead guilty and the conviction is not entered until the offender completes a probation period selected by jury. This probation may include obligations like the community service, restitution or some other obligations. The one good thing is that the offender is not arrested for the committed crime. But if the offender has committed felonies in the past or even Misdemeanour or the crime committed by the offender is of serious nature then the defendant, instead of avoiding jail time may face enhanced penalties with community sentencing option.
Loss of Rights and Benefits
After being convicted of Class B misdemeanour the person loses the following benefits:
• He will not be able to work in senior living community.
• He will not be able quality for the state and federal government employment.
• He will not be able to hold some occupations such as real estate, barber and many healthcare position that require federal or the local state licences.
• He will not be able to receive the procurement contracts from the state.
• He will not be able to vote in the state of Illinois.
As compared to misdemeanour the felony conviction has greater negative impact however even with the single Class B misdemeanour conviction many of civil rights are lost. Similarly a person can become ineligible to live the housing scheme that is federally subsidized and he might even become ineligible to receive the federal benefits such as the Food Stamps if he has convicted a drug related Class B misdemeanour.
Employment and Housing with the Felony Record
The person with the conviction record will have a hard time finding a job as many of the jobs are not available to the convicted people and on top of that even if they are eligible for a job the hiring officer will not consider them fit for the job. The Class B misdemeanour has a twofold impact on person’s life. He will also find it hard to get a suitable house. He will only be able to find one as a single unit or small complexes because according to experts they have high chance of getting those.
Clearing Your Record
As compared to felony conviction it is much easier to clear your name if you have convicted a Class B Misdemeanour. In that case your criminal attorney can help you because he will be familiar with the misdemeanour laws in your state. In many cases they will wipe off the conviction from your records as it never existed. A better option is the pardon from the Governor that will help your case.