- posted: Jun. 30, 2022
- Criminal Defense
A misdemeanor might not put you behind bars for life, but you can still face serious penalties and be forced to live with a criminal record that can make it harder to get a job or find housing. It is helpful to know the different classes of misdemeanor crimes in Tennessee so you can understand what you’re facing if you are ever arrested and charged.
Tennessee classifies misdemeanors into three categories: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A misdemeanors are the most serious types of misdemeanors. If convicted, you can face jail time of up to 11 months and 29 days, fines of up to $2,500, or both. Examples of Class A misdemeanors include:
- Theft of less than $1,000
- Domestic assault
- Simple assault
- First-time DUI
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Simple possession of marijuana
- Violating a restraining order
Class B misdemeanors are considered less serious than Class A. Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail, fines of up to $500, or both. Examples of Class B misdemeanors in Tennessee include:
- Reckless driving
- Criminal trespass
- Indecent exposure
Class C misdemeanors carry the mildest punishments. A conviction could lead to up to 30 days in jail, fines of $50 or less, or both. A few examples of these “petty” crimes are:
- Speeding and other motor vehicle offenses
- Public intoxication
- Disorderly conduct
- Using a fake ID
Do not take misdemeanor charges lightly. A conviction not only subjects you to sanctions now, but could lead to a harsher sentence if you’re prosecuted for a different alleged offense in the future. To give yourself the best chance a defeating a misdemeanor charge, you should retain an experienced Tennessee criminal defense lawyer who can argue the case on your behalf.
The attorneys of Massengill, Caldwell & Coughlin, PC have successfully defended hundreds of clients against Class A, Class B, and Class C misdemeanor charges in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas. If you are facing any misdemeanor charges, call our Bristol office right away at 423-797-6022 or contact us online. We offer a free initial consultation, so you don’t have to pay to get an informed assessment of your situation.