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in law, a minor crime, in contrast to a felonyfelony
, any grave crime, in contrast to a misdemeanor, that is so declared in statute or was so considered in common law. In early English law a felony was a heinous act that canceled the perpetrator's feudal rights and forfeited his lands and goods to the king, thus depriving
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. At common lawcommon law,
system of law that prevails in England and in countries colonized by England. The name is derived from the medieval theory that the law administered by the king's courts represented the common custom of the realm, as opposed to the custom of local jurisdiction that
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 a misdemeanor was a crime other than treason or a felony. Although it might be a grave offense, it did not affect the feudal bond or take away the offender's property. By the 19th cent. serious crimes were labeled felonies, and minor crimes misdemeanors. In the United States a misdemeanor usually is an offense that may be punished summarily by fine and by imprisonment for less than a year. Commission of a misdemeanor does not cancel citizenship or subject an alienalien,
in law, any person residing in one political community while owing allegiance to another. A procedure known as naturalization permits aliens to become citizens.

Each nation establishes conditions upon which aliens will be admitted, and makes laws concerning them.
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 to deportation. In some states of the United States certain minor law violations are not even classified as misdemeanors, e.g., traffic offenses and breach of municipal regulations.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/


(US), misdemeanor
Criminal law (formerly) an offence generally less heinous than a felony and which until 1967 involved a different form of trial
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
More work is needed to realize the full potential of SQ 780, including ensuring treatment for those grappling with drug addiction and revisiting the felony prison sentences of those punished under crimes that are now misdemeanors. But we are already seeing hopeful signs that the new approach endorsed by voters in 2016 is bearing fruit.
On appeal by the state, the Court of Appeals reasoned that Section 15-1 creates a two-year statute of limitations for certain misdemeanors because it provides, in part, that "all misdemeanors except malicious misdemeanors, shall be presented or found by the grand jury within two years after the commission of the same." It held that the state had two years to either prosecute the case or issue a warrant, indictment, or presentment that would toll the statute of limitations, and it failed to do so.
He was tried in Montgomery County that time and convicted of a misdemeanor charge, but the verdict was overturned after a judge declared a mistrial for juror misconduct.
As an aside, this is not the only such anomalous sentencing disparity between misdemeanors and felonies in Oregon's criminal code.
(62) Today, the vast majority of jurisdictions include some misdemeanors in their lists of registerable offenses.
(47) While misdemeanors are seen as minor infractions, (48) felonies are considered serious offenses and can leave a stigma for life.
of mass misdemeanors. (3) Since the mid-1990s, police departments across
Finding herself in court facing the misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license (another $439.50), Ashley offered to make an $80 payment toward the total.
Misdemeanors sit in the shadow of mass incarceration and as a result are often mistakenly assumed to be lenient.
Natapoff's new book on misdemeanors, Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal, is an ambitious tapestry of doctrines, journalism, empirical research, and public policy.
Purkart, 50, of the 0-99 block of Andover Lane, was arrested and charged in July with four counts of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
A study of firearm homicide and suicide rates in the 10 years after California simultaneously mandated comprehensive background checks (CBC) for nearly all firearm sales and a prohibition on gun purchase and possession via misdemeanor violence policies (MVP) found no change in the rates of either cause of death from firearms through 2000.