In Vermont, misdemeanors are crimes punishable less than two years in jail. More serious crimes (felonies) are punishable by death or state prison terms of two years or more. (Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 1.)
For more information on felonies in Vermont, see Vermont Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
In most states, lawmakers have set forth classes of misdemeanors (for example, “Class A” or “Class B" misdemeanors) and designated a set sentence or range of sentences for each class. Vermont’s lawmakers designate crimes as misdemeanors and fix sentences on a crime-by-crime basis.
For example, possession of up to two ounces of (non-medical) marijuana is punishable in Vermont by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. Subsequent convictions are punished more severely.
Violating a protective order is another example of a misdemeanor under Vermont’s laws. Violating a protective order is punishable by up to one year in a jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
A statute of limitations is a time period during which the state must begin criminal prosecution or the defendant can have the case dismissed. When the crime is committed, the statute of limitations begins to “run.” Misdemeanors in Vermont have a statute of limitations of three years.
If you are charged with any crime, even a misdemeanor, you should contact a Vermont criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to tell you what to expect in court based on the facts, the laws that apply to your case, and the local judges and prosecutors. With an attorney’s help, you can protect your rights and obtain the best result possible under the circumstances.