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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.


(US), misdemeanor
Criminal law (formerly) an offence generally less heinous than a felony and which until 1967 involved a different form of trial
References in periodicals archive ?
Dennis Doty, 49, of Murphysboro, pleaded guilty to battery, a Class A misdemeanor.
The classification of offenses as felonies or misdemeanors has long been a foundational aspect of the American criminal justice system.
District Attorney Brett Ligon's office Friday dropped 10 felony counts of barratry - commonly known as ambulance chasing - against Reynolds that it had filed in state district court, and filed five counts of misdemeanor barratry against Reynolds in a Montgomery County court.
Despite their widespread use by police to address any type of miscellaneous offense, there is little comprehensive national data on misdemeanors or their impact on college-bound or enrolled students or graduates seeking employment.
They cited 76 people for misdemeanor fireworks possession and related offenses.
Gandhi had no such power in pre-independent India and if there were even the inkling of such sexual misdemeanor on the part of Gandhi, the English would have been the first to pounce on the opportunity to denigrate Gandhi.
On May 1, the Lane County district attorney's office will cease prosecuting more than 100 nonviolent misdemeanor crimes in a budget-cutting move to save $271,000 by turning away 2,000 charges.
05-02) 01:17 PDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A man in traffic court for a misdemeanor skateboarding hearing now faces two felony charges after allegedly leaping onto the bench and threatening the judge.
The maximum penalties in tribal court for misdemeanors are up to 1 year in jail and $5,000 in fines per count.
Misdemeanors and felonies were about evenly split in the sample.
08 or more blood alcohol content, in violation of section 23152(b) of the Vehicle Code, a misdemeanor.