A misdemeanor is a crime of lesser crime. Seriousness of this crime is not that grave in nature. Punishment of this crime is less than many crimes like felony. Usually punishments for misdemeanors are monetary fines or community services. Degree of seriousness of crime is derived by measuring the seriousness of crime.
In the U.S., the federal government has also laid down some rules for the misdemeanors. They consider crime to be misdemeanors, when the crime is punishable for not more than one year. Many states have adopted this principal.
Misdemeanors generally do not result in restriction of civil rights, but perhaps results in loss of privileges like public office, government employment, and licensee. Such results as punishment are known as a collateral consequence of criminal charge. These are more common when the privileges are in question. For example- when any taxi driver loses his driving license as a result of reckless driving or when a misdemeanor is engaged in any moral turpitude or it depends on the case.
In U.S., misdemeanors go through maximum incarceration of 12 months, typically in a jail. It is totally different than felons, who go to prison for incarceration.
Punishments like probation, community service, short term jail, or part time incarceration, i.e. sentence on the weekends.
In the constitution of the United State of America, it very well stated that if the president impeaches, shall be removed from the office if found guilty for high crimes or misdemeanors, by the congress.
As referred in the constitution, the term misdemeanor broadly indicates towards a criminal act.
There is some classification of misdemeanor. This classification may exist after depending on jurisdiction, punishment can vary through these classifications of misdemeanors. For example, in the U.S., the federal government and some state governments divide some misdemeanors into various classes, some classes are punishable by jail time and other classes are only punishable by fine or monetary punishment.
According to New York law, classes of misdemeanors are divided in class A and class B.
Class A misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of one year of imprisonment, while Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of three months of imprisonment.
There are some unclassified misdemeanors in the U.S., when some statues do not specify the class of misdemeanors then it is known as unclassified misdemeanors.
Legislature enacts any law and wants to impose some penalties which fall out of the structure of each class.
For example- Virginia has four classes of misdemeanors, in class 1 and 2 misdemeanors being punishable by 12 months and six months jail sentence, respectively. And class 3 and class 4 being punishable by monetary punishments. New York has three classes of misdemeanors class A, B, and unclassified.