Misdemeanor Crimes

If you have been given a misdemeanor citation or arrested for a misdemeanor crime in the greater Memphis area, you need a knowledgeable and confident Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney who will fight to protect your rights and freedoms.

Misdemeanors are the least serious category of criminal offense. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you might be considering whether to simply plead guilty, take the punishment, and move on with your life. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Even though the penalties for a misdemeanor are relatively mild, the effects of a criminal record on your life can take their toll in the long run.

In Tennessee, Misdemeanors, whether a citation or physical arrest, can be a serious crime that carries mandatory jail time and fines. A misdemeanor citation or arrest does not have to mean automatic jail time or fines with an experienced Misdemeanor Lawyer to steer you through the process for the best results possible.

Call (901) 552-6228 today to schedule a consultation with Attorney Joseph Pehanick.

MISDEMEANOR PRACTICE AREAS: DUI/DWI Defense | Drug/Gun Possession | Traffic Violations


Misdemeanor crimes in Tennessee are grouped into three main categories:

A Misdemeanor – up to 11 months and 29 days in jail

  • Theft

  • Assault/Domestic Assault

  • Vandalism

  • Evading Arrest

  • Selling beer/alcohol to a minor

B Misdemeanor – up to 6 months in jail

  • Resisting Official Detention

  • Prostitution/Patronizing Prostitution

C Misdemeanor – up to 30 days in jail

  • Trespassing

  • Disorderly Conduct

To effectively defend your constitutional rights and defend against your Misdemeanor case, you need an experienced Memphis Criminal Defense Attorney with knowledge in Tennessee Misdemeanor laws. Our legal team has the experience necessary to help you understand complex legal issues and a proven track record in defending Misdemeanor cases.

If you have been charged with a Misdemeanor, you need a Memphis Criminal Defense Lawyer who will fight for your fundamental rights. Because Misdemeanor offenses can carry very harsh penalties, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will fight for a reduction of the charges against you and to keep your criminal record clean. Our firm has successfully defended all of the above listed misdemeanor crimes and many more in Tennessee.


What happens if I am given a citation in lieu of arrest?

If an officer decides to issue you a citation rather than placing you under arrest, you still must be booked and processed and attend a mandatory court appearance. Once given a citation you will be free to leave but be required to be booked and processed at a later date written on your citation. You will also be given a mandatory court arraignment date. Contact an experienced Memphis criminal defense attorney prior to your court date to avoid jail time and prevent a conviction from your record by working with the prosecution for alternative resolutions for a dismissal of charges.
What happens if I am caught shoplifting?

One of the most common theft offenses in Memphis occurs when a client is caught stealing items from a local store. Most often, individuals caught shoplifting are issued a misdemeanor citation in lieu of arrest, if the value of the stolen items is less than $1000. It is important to understand that a misdemeanor citation can still result in jail time up to 11 months and 29 days. Merchant’s restitution may be an option to have the charges dismissed depending upon your prior criminal record.
What is going to happen if I am arrested for domestic assault?

Often when arrested for domestic violence charges, the judge will impose bond conditions that may require you to not contact the victim, not reside at the same address, and attend anger management classes. It is important to understand domestic assault is a misdemeanor that can result in up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, as well as prohibit you from owning a firearm. Contact an experienced Memphis domestic assault attorney to avoid jail time and prevent a conviction from your record by working with the prosecution for alternative resolutions such as anger management, parenting class, or drug counseling for a dismissal of charges.