Pennsylvania residents who are charged with gross misdemeanors may be wondering if these differ at all from misdemeanor charges. Not many people know that these two different categories exist, but they both carry different types of repercussions with them and can impact you on different levels.

WiseGeek describes a gross misdemeanor as something between the level of a regular misdemeanor and a felony. It can include things like simple assault, petty theft, and DUI crimes or charges. Fines and jail sentences can be lengthened for people who face gross misdemeanor charges, though generally speaking, you won’t get over a year of jail time.

You may be required to do extensive community service and any fines accrued will likely be higher, though. For example, someone with a DUI gross demeanor conviction may lose their license temporarily. However, harsher punishments are still available for harsher crimes. To follow the prior example, if you’re a repeat offender, you may lose your license permanently.

On the more positive side, a gross misdemeanor is still a misdemeanor and doesn’t carry the weight of a felony with it. You won’t have to worry about the black mark of a felony on your record, which could prevent you from getting jobs or keeping the job you already have.

Gross misdemeanor charges should still be taken seriously even if they have lesser penalties than misdemeanor charges. If you’re facing a gross misdemeanor charge, you may wish to seek legal counsel so that you know what actions should be taken next.