Delaware, like all states, divides crimes into felonies (more serious crimes) and misdemeanors (less serious crimes). Misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail. Under Delaware’s laws, misdemeanors are designated as Class A or B, or they may be unclassified. Felonies are punishable by state prison terms.
For more information on felonies in Delaware, see Delaware Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
A class A misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Delaware, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,300. The court may also order the defendant to pay restitution (repayment for any medical expenses, property damage, or other costs incurred by others as a result of the defendant’s crime). (Del. Code tit. 11, § 4206.) Theft of property worth less than $1,500 is an example of a class A misdemeanor.
For more information on theft penalties, see Delaware Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws.
Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,150, and restitution. (Del. Code tit. 11, § 4206.) Prostitution is an example of a class B misdemeanor.
For more information on this and related crimes, see Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Delaware.
Being convicted of an unclassified misdemeanor can result in a term of up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $575. (Del. Code tit. 11, § 4206.) Possession or use of any amount of marijuana (even a small amount for strictly personal use) is an unclassified misdemeanor in Delaware.
For more information on this crime, see Delaware Marijuana Laws.
Many crimes have a time limit, called a statute of limitations, by which the state must begin criminal prosecution. Charging a case after the time limit has run enables the defendant to have the case dismissed. The statute of limitations begins to run when the crime is committed. In Delaware, the statute of limitations for misdemeanors is two or three years.
For more information, see Delaware Criminal Statute of Limitations.
Any criminal conviction can have serious and lasting results that can make life unpleasant for years to come. If you are charged with any crime, even a seemingly trivial misdemeanor, you should consult a local criminal defense attorney. An experienced Delaware attorney can tell you how your case is likely to fare in court and how to best protect your rights.