In Oregon, misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to 364 days in jail. Oregon law divides misdemeanor offenses into four different categories: Class A, B, and C, and unclassified misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are typically the most serious type of misdemeanor, while Class C misdemeanors are the least serious. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 161.555 (2019).)
More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by terms in state prison. For information on felonies, see Oregon Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In Oregon, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $6,250, or both. Reckless driving and prostitution are examples of Class A misdemeanors. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 161.615, 161.635 (2019).)
A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor in Oregon can result in up to six months in jail, a fine of as much as $2,500, or both. For instance, a minor who attempts to purchase alcohol can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 161.615, 161.635 (2019).)
Under Oregon law, a Class C misdemeanor is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,250, or both. Theft of property worth less than $100, for example, is a Class C misdemeanor. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 161.615, 161.635 (2019).)
In Oregon, unclassified misdemeanors typically have different possible jail sentences and maximum fines as provided for in the laws that define the crimes. However, if a statute designates a crime as a misdemeanor but fails to classify it and set a penalty for it, the offense is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 161.555, 161.615, 161.635 (2019).)
A statute of limitations is the period of time during which the state must begin criminal prosecution. The statute of limitations begins to "run" when the crime occurs. In Oregon, misdemeanors typically have two-year statutes of limitations. (Or. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 131.125 (2019).)
Although misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they are still serious crimes. If you are being investigated or have been charged with an offense, you should talk to a qualified Oregon criminal defense attorney. Seeking legal advice from a lawyer who has experience defending clients in local courts is the best way to ensure that your legal rights are protected at every stage of the criminal justice process.