Skip to main content


Misdemeanors are one of the two classifications of crimes in Georgia. Although less serious than a felony, a misdemeanor still carries serious consequences. 

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you can risk spending up to 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Some misdemeanor offenses in Georgia include:

  • Shoplifting
  • DUI
  • Possession of marijuana less than one ounce
  • Public intoxication

Misdemeanor offenses can be upgraded to high and aggravated misdemeanor offense in certain circumstances. This often occurs when a person has committed multiple offenses.

Georgia law defines misdemeanors as: 

(a) A person who is convicted of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, or such other places as counties may provide for maintenance of county inmates, for a term not to exceed 12 months, or both; provided, however, that a person convicted of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature which was committed by an inmate within the confines of a state correctional institution and sentenced to confinement as a result of such offense shall be sentenced to confinement under the jurisdiction of the Board of Corrections in a state correctional institution or such other institution as the Department of Corrections may direct for a term which shall not exceed 12 months. In all cases of a conviction of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, the sentencing court shall retain jurisdiction to amend, modify, alter, suspend, or probate sentences imposed under this Code section at any time; but in no instance shall a sentence imposed under this Code section be modified in such a manner as to increase the amount of fine or the term of confinement.

(b) Notwithstanding any laws to the contrary, a person sentenced for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature may earn no more than four days per month earned time allowance.

If you are facing a misdemeanor charge in the state of Georgia, contact the attorneys of Brown Dutton & Crider to learn what your options are. Even with a misdemeanor, you could face permanent stains on your record. Let us help protect you and your future. Call today (770) 422-4241 or email