Do Misdemeanors Add Up to Felonies?

misdemeanor and cuffs

Just how bad is a misdemeanor?

In Kansas, or anywhere, being arrested isn’t anything to take lightly, even on a misdemeanor charge. Once you’re arrested, that creates a criminal record that stays with you. Even though a ‘misdemeanor’ charge isn’t as serious as a bank robbery or a murder, that criminal record can affect your future employment and more. 

Under the state of Kansas criminal law, a person arrested for a criminal offense will have their charges categorized as either a felony or a misdemeanor. With each of those categories, there are sub-classifications which under the  misdemeanor category, they are basic and simple. 

However,  knowing the possible sentences for a misdemeanor charge doesn’t necessarily mean you can determine the outcome of your case. An experienced defense attorney can analyze your case to create the best defense for the best outcome. A defense attorney that has practiced in Kansas courts will have knowledge of the tendencies of the judge assigned your case.

In the misdemeanor classification, the state of Kansas has them divided into the three subclassifications as follows: 

  • Class A Misdemeanor: Possible sentencing up to one year jail time. Crimes can range from a 2nd DUI, marijuana possession, shoplifting/theft.
  • Class B Misdemeanor: Possible sentencing up to six months jail time. Crimes can range from DUI, criminal proper damage up to $1,000 value, driving on suspension.
  • Class C Misdemeanor: Possible sentencing up to 30 days jail time. Crimes can range from hit and run with results of property damage. 

The bail for misdemeanor charges stated will be determined by the judge at arraignment time. When a defense attorney is hired by the defendant, they will typically post bond and schedule an appointment with them to review the case and create a defense plan. 

What kind of charges are misdemeanors?

Misdemeanor offenses in Kansas are a wide range with Class C Misdemeanor being the less serious, Class B Misdemeanor a step in seriousness, and Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious. Those charges can include: 

  • Battery
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Harassment
  • Property Crimes

It is the results to the victim that determine the seriousness of how the charges will be classified. While battery is a Class B Misdemeanor, if the victim is a school official, it automatically becomes a Class A Misdemeanor. The resulting penalties are increased and more severe.

Is there bail for misdemeanor?

Misdemeanor with bail will vary regardless of the misdemeanor classifications A, B, C, or unclassified. Typically, Misdemeanor bail amounts are lower than the bail for felony charges, with an average range starting at $500.00 and as high as $1,000.00. The bail will depend on the several factors including but not limited to the following: 

  • The misdemeanor offense
  • The defendant’s standing in their community
  • The defendant’s age
  • The defendant’s employment status
  • The defendant’s criminal history

The courts review these factors and assess the whole picture to determine whether the defendant will return for their court date. As with any arrest, a bail is issued to encourage the defendant to appear at all court dates. 

Do you need an attorney for a misdemeanor?

It is your right to have legal representation and as the Miranda Rights state, if you cannot afford an attorney, the courts must appoint one to you. A person arrested should keep in mind that regardless the level of conviction in the state of Kansas, it will have a negative impact on their life. 

Anyone that has been arrested and charged should seek legal representation, even with a misdemeanor charge. The legal representation can assist with navigating the legal system and often get the charges reduced or even eliminated. 

arrested individual

How many misdemeanors equal a felony?

For a misdemeanor charge to become a felony charge, it isn’t based on the ‘misdemeanor’ classification, but the type of crimes committed.  A prior conviction for any following that were classified a misdemeanor and has happened repeatedly, will allow the courts to change the misdemeanor to a felony: 

  • Domestic Violence
  • Retail Fraud (shoplifting, theft)
  • Drunk Driving or Driving Under the Influence

The judge will use other factors to determine if a misdemeanor charge should be upgraded to a felony, including misdemeanor or felony bail is required, if any bail is set at all. As mentioned earlier, other factors a judge will use to make their decisions on misdemeanor charges, or any class of charges, will be based on: 

  • The misdemeanor offense
  • The defendant’s standing in their community
  • The defendant’s age
  • The defendant’s employment status
  • The defendant’s criminal history

It is important to realize that every category of crime will have certain exceptions. However, there are special circumstances that a Judge can use to decrease or increase the classification and sentencing. One example would be a sentencing of felony prison can be reduced by the Judge if mitigating circumstances are presented to the Judge. Need help with bail in Wichita, KS? Call 866-830-2663 today.