Questions about misdemeanors

OK, first of all, what is the technical meaning of misdemeanor? Second of all, if I get one, will my car insurance go up (Geiko adjusters welcome)? I know I won’t lose my scholorship, but I need to know how it will hurt me having it on my record. Also, how long do they stay on my record?

If it helps, the offence was “illegal use of DL”.

What’s “DL”?

A misdemeanor is generally a minor criminal violation for which the maximum punishment is no greater than imprisonment for up to one year. (Although it will often be much smaller – I got a reckless driving misdemeanor last summer and my entire sentence was a fine of $120.) This is in contrast to a felony, a more serious crime which carries a possible sentence of over one year imprisonment. Felonies are considered serious enough that constitutional protections (like the jury trial) come into play.

Traditionally these were the two types of crimes, but nowadays many states have created a third category for not-especially serious moving violations, which puts misdemeanors in the middle position. As for your insurance, any moving violation will usually increase your insurance premium, a serious one even moreso.


A misdemeanor is commonly defined as a criminal offense punishable by less than one year in prison. I don’t know if that’s the definition used in SC, nor do I know if it will appear on your driving record. If it’s a violation while driving, it’s probably going to show up, though. What were you doing, driving without your glasses?

No, actually, it was using the DL (driver’s licence) of another to get into a bar. It had nothing to do with driving.

While it may not show up on your driving record, if it’s a crime (a misdemeanor usually is), a conviction will usually show up if your criminal record is checked.

It’s a crime all right. I have no idea if your insurance will go up or how long it will be on your record. you should consult with an attorney licensed in your state.