Sources of data on misdemeanor crime are discussed, and the distinction between felony and misdemeanor crime is considered. An attempt is made to define misdemeanor crime through an analysis of State penal codes. Factors considered in determining whether a crime is a misdemeanor or a felony are reviewed, and differences in the processing and consequences of the two types of offense are discussed. Various categories of misdemeanor crime are delineated, including sex crimes such as prostitution and homosexuality; substance abuse and other victimless crimes, including pool hustling, numbers running, and panhandling; minor property crime (shoplifting, employee theft, pocket-picking), family violence such as child abuse, elder abuse, and wife-battering; and obscenity and pornography. These categories are considered with respect to criminal methods; victim and offender profiles; sanctions; and public, police, and court attitudes toward them. Victims' responses to these crimes also are described, and the need for victim compensation and other victims services is noted. Chapter references and readings and an index.