Top 6 Common US Misdemeanors: A Criminal Record Guide for Americans

One of the worst things you can do is break the law, and many people do it even if they know it is wrong. It is called a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are easy to commit and result in minor penalties. Sometimes, misdemeanors can even end up being more severe than the original offense. When you are looking at getting into trouble with the law, it is essential to understand common misdemeanors to avoid them.

What is a misdemeanor? What are some common misdemeanors seen in the US? This article will discuss some common misdemeanors in the USA.

Simple Assault

Simple assault ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the force used. These charges are primarily seen in domestic violence cases. Simple assault charges may be issued against people who cause physical harm to another person without any intention of causing severe injury, but with the purpose of anger or provoking them into fighting back. This misdemeanor could still get recorded on someone’s record if they were convicted and did not enter a plea agreement, sentencing them lower than a felony charge.


Trespassing is a misdemeanor that usually involves an unwanted trespasser. It can be done by entering a parking lot without permission, being on someone else’s private property or recklessly walking across the street when it is not safe to do so. These actions vary from state to state and even in different cities within one specific area of law enforcement officers coverage. For example, some locales only allow people with invitations into restricted areas, while others will allow someone to receive trespassing charges based on their actions before becoming a trespasser.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is considered a misdemeanor by the law for now, but it has been more common to consider it as an actual crime. Petty theft involves stealing property valued at under $200 from an individual or business, either through shoplifting or some other act of illegal conduct surrounding stolen goods. Petty thefts may still feel like petty offenses compared to property crimes such as grand larceny or burglary. Yet, some people are arrested on these charges even if they do not want them in their criminal record.

Public Intoxication

Public intoxication is one of the most common misdemeanors encountered in a criminal record. This time, public intoxications have been rising recently across America. Many people use alcohol and other drugs legally with their friends or before hanging out. Public intoxication is a misdemeanor caused by consuming alcohol or any other type of drug. Some states do not consider public intoxication an offense; however, some areas will issue misdemeanors if they intended to commit a crime but decided against it afterward.

Indecent Exposure

Indecent exposure falls under the same category as public intoxication, but it does not cause nearly as much offense to others. It is considered a similar case even though many people do not consider this behavior reprehensible. Indecent exposure is a misdemeanor regarding public morals and sexual acts. Indecent exposure usually involves nudity and other actions to shock or engage in sexual activity. While the act of exposing one’s genitalia in public does not cause any harm, it can be considered an offense regarding decency.

Tampering with evidence

Tampering with evidence means destroying other people’s property. Tampering with evidence charges ranges from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the value of what was damaged. Tampering with evidence is one of the most severe charges that can be found on someone’s criminal record. This charge involves destroying or altering physical evidence in a crime scene by moving around an object, vandalizing objects, adding things to paint or bitumen for oils and other substances used for cleaning purposes.

Have you ever faced any of these common misdemeanors? Let us know in the comments below.

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