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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.
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(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 ?
households have guns, it is likely that hundreds of thousands of convicted domestic violence misdemeanants possess firearms.
Disparate Treatment Between Felons and Misdemeanants
premises because the gun could be under the misdemeanant's control.
misdemeanants. But it concluded that history provided no definitive
(34) Senator Lautenberg subsequently assumed the responsibility of sponsoring the portion of the bill that imposed firearms restrictions on domestic violence misdemeanants. In 1996, Congress imposed the same firearms restrictions on any person convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic violence (the "Lautenberg Amendment").
(43) With this recognition, the "No Local [Address]" project was launched in 1991, with its aim of releasing with a "promise to appear" homeless misdemeanant defendants who, had they not been homeless, would simply have received a citation or an infraction warrant.
The bill amends VA Code section 19.2-182.5 by providing that a misdemeanant NGRI acquittee is to remain in the custody of DMHMRSAS pursuant to Chapter 11.1 of Title 19.2 of the Code of Virginia for a period not to exceed one year from the date of acquittal.
A fleeing nondangerous misdemeanant would seldom present any additional emergencies.
When a violent misdemeanant buys a gun, 74 percent of voters want to make that a crime.
2010) (refusing to reconsider intermediate scrutiny as a proper test for prohibitions on misdemeanant domestic batterers in possession of firearms).