A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and more serious than an infraction. You must keep in mind that the verdict of your offense is contingent on the degree of the misdeed. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by a fine and incarceration in a local county jail, unlike infractions which impose no jail time. Many jurisdictions separate misdemeanors into three classes: high or gross misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors, and petty misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors usually contemplate a jail sentence of less than six months and a fine of $500 or less. The punishment prescribed for gross misdemeanors is greater than that prescribed for an ordinary misdemeanor and less than that prescribed for felonies, which customarily impose state prison. Community service, probation, fines, and imprisonment for less than a year are commonly issued punishments.