Being charged with a misdemeanor crime may be punished by time in jail, probation, or a fine. Misdemeanor offenses are handled by the county court and are usually considered less serious crimes than felony offenses.
While being convicted of a misdemeanor will not result in the loss of any of your civil rights, there is the possibility of going to jail. First time offenders only occasionally go to jail for a misdemeanor offense. However, it is common that first offenders will be formally judged for the crime. Often, a first offense misdemeanor crime becomes a felony after repeated offenses.
It is sometimes possible to have your arrest record wiped clean at a later date through either the sealing or erasure of your record. However, you must qualify for this action and the manner in which your case is handled may effect your eligibility for future erasure of your record. While a misdemeanor may only result in a small fine, you may be required to perform community service or even serve jail time. Therefore, it is usually recommended that the matter be discussed with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.