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Misdemeanor Definition

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense punishable by one year or less. The lowest severity of criminal offenses are called misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are prosecuted in district court. Common misdemeanor hearings include arraignment, plea, sentencing, and trial. These offenses are less serious than felonies. Either a state law prosecutor or municiple attorney can prosecute misdemeanor charges. A defendant has the right to request a bench or jury trial and must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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