Is a local ordinance violation the same as a misdemeanor?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2010

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Is a local ordinance violation the same as a misdemeanor?

When I was 20, i was convicted of receiving of stolen property which was amended in court to a local ordinance violation (see below). Now I am applying to medical school and have to disclose any criminal or misdemeanor violations. I do not have to disclose anything that was below this level of offense.

Asked on July 14, 2010 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

A misdomeanor is the middle classification of crimes, so to speak. They are more serious than violations, which are typically things like disturbing the peace, or traffic or parking violations; they are however, much less serious than felonies, which are things like assault, rape, most forms of theft, etc.

An ordinance just means it's a law passed by local body, such as a town or city. The fact that it's an ordinance suggests its probably a violation (lower than a misdomeanor), but does not guarantee it.

Contact the local court or town hall from the place you received the violation. Tell them the ordinance (including identifying number) you were convicted of and ask them to let you know whether it's a misdomeanor, felony, or other. You could also try looking it updirectly online, though not all local ordinances are online. You should be able to fairly easily identify what level of offense it was. Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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