Common Misdemeanors in Georgia

When discussing misdemeanor charges, it’s important to point out that while they are less serious than felonies, there is nothing minor about them. A misdemeanor conviction can derail your future and lead to serious social consequences that you probably didn’t bargain for. If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, don’t wait to consult with an experienced Georgia criminal defense attorney.

The Fines and Penalties

The potential fines and penalties for a misdemeanor conviction in Georgia include all the following:

  • Up to 12 months in jail – or to a diversion center for those with behavioral health concerns
  • Up to $1,000 in fines – or up to $5,000 in fines for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature
  • Potential probation
  • Potential restitution
  • Community Service Work
  • Substance Abuse or Psychological Testing, Assessment, and Treatment
  • Banishments
  • Other prohibitions

Because your criminal record is a matter of public information, the social consequences that can follow you into your future include:

  • Difficulty renting a home or obtaining a home loan
  • Inability to obtain a federal student loan
  • Difficulty obtaining work
  • An overall decline in social standing
  • Challenges related to professional licensure

Traffic Offenses

Georgia is unique in that it classifies all traffic offenses as misdemeanors – whereas most other states classify them as civil infractions that don’t carry the possibility of jail time. There are pros and cons to this system, but if you are charged with a traffic offense, the fact that it’s a misdemeanor entitles you to a jury trial and full due process of the law. As a result, there is more room for plea deals and bargains. The most common traffic offenses include:

  • Speeding
  • DUI
  • Failure to Yield
  • Reckless Driving
  • Following Too Closely
  • Vehicular Homicide

Disorderly Conduct

Disorderly conduct is another common misdemeanor charge in the State of Georgia, and it applies in all the following scenarios:

  • Acting in a violent or tumultuous manner that puts another person in fear of their own safety or of the safety of their property
  • Using fighting words without provocation
  • Using obscene or vulgar language – without provocation – in the presence of or on the phone with a child who is under the age of 14

Weapons Charges

There are a range of common misdemeanor weapons charges in Georgia, including:

  • Illegal possession
  • Illegal discharge of a weapon


Shoplifting refers to the theft of goods from a retail establishment, which generally involves hiding the boosted item and passing the point of sale without paying for it. Shoplifting, however, doesn’t require concealment. For example, wearing a piece of clothing out of a store without paying for it is shoplifting, and so is artificially lowering the price of an item, such as by exchanging price tags. In Georgia, shoplifting is elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony when the value of the stolen goods exceeds $500.

Consult with an Experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The dedicated Georgia criminal defense attorneys at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland have reserves of experience fiercely defending clients in the face of misdemeanor charges, and we have an imposing track record of success. Learn more by contacting us online or calling 866-488-3181 today.