What Is a Class C Misdemeanor?

A class C misdemeanor can vary in definition depending on a state's particular laws, but in general this type of offense is used to categorize petty crimes such as shoplifting. Additionally, a class C misdemeanor usually results in a fine or jail time of less than 1 year.

A class C misdemeanor is the least serious of misdemeanor offenses, with class A being the most serious, followed by class B.

Some states classify misdemeanors differently using numbers (class 1 to 3 misdemeanors, for example).

Sentences for a class C misdemeanor are usually served in a county jail as opposed to a state jail, which is reserved for more serious crimes. Many less serious misdemeanors, such as a class C, often have reduced sentences, and may require a fine be paid instead, or in addition to, time served.

Most states divide crimes into either felonies or misdemeanors, with felonies being the more serious of the two.

Some states do not classify misdemeanors, with sentences applied on a per case basis. Some states that do not have a classification system for misdemeanors are Maryland and Oklahoma, while states such as Texas and Utah classify misdemeanors from A to C. Additionally, some states choose to simply break down misdemeanors into gross or petty, depending on the severity of the offense.