In general, a misdemeanor crime is any crime that may carry a punishment that may include up to a year in jail, fines and forfeiture, but does not carry a sentence in a federal or state prison. A felony conviction, on the other hand, is any crime that may result in a prison sentence of one year or more in a state or federal penitentiary. The court standards for evidence and defense are typically different for misdemeanors and felony charges, as well. Misdemeanor charges may include major traffic infractions that result in an accident, violations of municipal and county statutes, and lesser property crimes. Felony crimes are likely to involve a more complex process of pre-trial motions and court dates. Federal felony charges involve a different standard of evidence and timeline for legal motions than California state felony charges.
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Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime, your attorney will need experience to ensure that you have the best possible opportunity to protect your rights and your future. Make no mistake, a conviction for a misdemeanor might not include a serious prison sentence, but the conviction will have a long-term effect on your record.
At the Law Offices of Clark Head, we provide criminal defense representation that is focused on helping you fight for the best possible outcome for your felony or misdemeanor charges. Criminal defense attorney Clark Head is a highly regarded trial attorney with more than 30 years of courtroom experience in municipal, county, state, and federal courts throughout the entire State of California. We invite you to learn more about the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor on this page. Contact us to schedule a free consultation about getting the legal help you need to protect your future.
Felony: Felonies expose the individual charged to the potential of a prison sentence and prison sentences can be as long as a life sentence. Felonies may also carry additional ancillary sanctions such as eliminating the ability to vote or extended probation periods.
Felony DUI: Under California law, a felony DUI actually refers to a serious misdemeanor DUI charge that can be the result of driving while intoxicated, and causing an accident that results in injury or death of another person. In addition, a driver with a record of repeat DUI convictions may be charged with a felony DUI, even if no accident or injury resulted from the offense. Under California law, a felony DUI charge also requires proof of negligence resulting in the accident. A conviction may result in a prison sentence.
Misdemeanors: Usually charged by a written complaint and may include up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Typical misdemeanor crimes include charges such as DUI, disorderly conduct, solicitation of prostitution, and domestic violence. Misdemeanor crimes can be raised to the level of a felony charge if the District Attorney feels that sufficient evidence exists to prove significant harm to a victim or property. You have the right to waive your right to appear in person, and your attorney may appear to represent you at court hearings.
Contact our offices to schedule a free consultation about your misdemeanor or felony charge right away.