Under Louisiana’s laws, misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by a term in parish or local jail. More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by imprisonment in state prison or death.
For more information on felonies in Louisiana, see Louisiana Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In many states, lawmakers have set forth classes of misdemeanors (for example, “aggravated misdemeanors” or “class A misdemeanors”) and each class has a set sentence or range of sentences. In Louisiana, lawmakers designate crimes as misdemeanors or felonies and fix sentences on a crime-by-crime basis.
For example, a first conviction for marijuana possession is punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both.
For more information on the penalties for crimes involving marijuana, see Louisiana Marijuana Laws.
Disturbing the peace is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $100, or both.
For more information on disturbing the peace, see Louisiana Public Intoxication Laws.
Statute of Limitations
A “statute of limitations” is a time limit for criminal prosecution. The statute of limitations begins to “run” when the crime is committed and when it is over, the defendant can no longer be tried for the crime. Misdemeanors usually have a fairly short statute of limitations of only a few years.
For more information, see Louisiana Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Obtaining Legal Assistance
A criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor, can result in serious consequences. If you are charged with a crime in Louisiana, you should contact a criminal defense attorney who can tell you how your case is likely to be treated in court and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.