What is a misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is the lowest level of criminal offense in the state of Minnesota. By statute a misdemeanor is defined as a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Common misdemeanor offenses include the following: first-time DWI (with BAC under .20), first-time domestic assault, fifth degree assault, and disorderly conduct. Although misdemeanors are the lowest level of criminal offense, a person’s freedom, property and rights are still at stake. "Collateral" consequences may follow a conviction for a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor conviction can affect your employment prospects since, according to the National Employment Law Project, 92% of employers conduct background checks on applicants at least some of the time. Additionally, a misdemeanor domestic assault conviction will result in a lifetime ban from owning or possessing firearms under federal law.