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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 ?
Although Galway has not yet suffered the crime sprees seen in Dublin, Mayor Martin Quinn said Gardai are struggling to keep on top of petty crime.
According to a Mr A Smith, who wrote a letter of complaint to the local paper, the citizens have to put up with "drunken behaviour, petty crime and traffic problems" as part of the Cheltenham Festival.
The teenager carried out a 12-month campaign of petty crime and anti-social behaviour in St Mellons.
Idle Hands UNEMPLOYMENT can and will eat your heart and soul away When there are no wages on a Friday Idle hands can lead to petty crime And some will end up doing prison time Youths walking the streets and doing drugs Quickly learning to become thugs With no role models in their home Yes the children are left to roam Morals and ethics soon go out the door And there is little respect for the old or neighbours any more We must make better use of our youth And this is a fact, yes, the simple truth.
As concerns petty crime, police said 2,882 cases were filed and 2,624, or 93 per cent, were considered cleared.
Residents seek to raise awareness of possible petty crime and incidents in the area after the arrival of migrants.
It seems as though what was once classed as petty crime years ago just seems as if it doesn't matter anymore.
Socialist or Conservative governments, in my view, will never be able to help those at the bottom of society's ladder and all its consequences of low achievement, alcoholism, drug addiction and the resulting mental health and petty crime that follows and so will always be a drain on public funds.
James told how he had struggled all his life but really wanted to break away from the petty crime and prison cycle he had fallen into.