Misdemeanor Offenses in California
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In the field of California criminal law, there are three major categories that violations of criminal code: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies. These categories are predetermined by the state based on the nature of the offense, the seriousness, and the penalties available upon violation.
Misdemeanors are less serious crimes than felonies but are still punishable by a combination of fines and jail time, although there are limits to both. According to the law, the court may not order more than a year of jail time as punishment for an aggravated misdemeanor conviction, the most serious in that category. For most misdemeanors, the limit on jail time is six months.
Contact us today at (707) 674-5868 to find out how our Napa misdemeanor defense lawyer can assist you in your case!
Standard misdemeanor penalties may include:
- Jail time
- House arrest or electronic monitoring
- Victim restitution
- Counseling for anger, alcoholism, drug addiction, and/or abuse
- Community service
- Restraining or protective orders
A benefit to those charged with misdemeanors that is not made available to those charged with felonies is the ability to petition the court to expunge the record upon completion of the sentence. If the court grants the petition for expungement, the defendant may have the misdemeanor conviction expunged from his or her record and hidden from the view of background checks, employers, landlords and any other future inquirers.
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There are certain offenses that the law allows the prosecution discretion to charge the defendant with a misdemeanor or felony. These are known as “wobblers” because they are criminal offenses that can be charged both ways depending on the circumstances of the case and the criminal history of the defendant.
Don’t make the mistake of taking a misdemeanor charge lightly. The outcome of your case and its impact on your future depends on the quality of legal defense you equip yourself with.
Contact our Napa criminal defense attorney at (707) 674-5868 schedule a free case evaluation and begin fighting your misdemeanor charge today!