Misdemeanors A misdemeanor is a minor crime that is punishable by fine and/or county jail time for up to one year. Misdemeanors are tried in the lowest local court such as municipal, police or justice courts. They differ from felonies that can be punished by a state prison term. Misdemeanors include: petty theft, disturbing the peace, simple assault and battery, drunk driving without injury to others, public drunkenness, various traffic violations, public nuisances and some crimes that the District Attorney determines can be charged as a misdemeanor. According to the U.S. Constitution, "high crimes and misdemeanors" are felonies.