What Are the Differences Between Misdemeanors and Felonies?

A person being arrested

Different Levels of Crime

Understanding the differences between misdemeanors and felonies is vital in California. Knowing the difference can be critical when determining an individual's rights or a potential sentence for a crime. A misdemeanor conviction may have a lesser impact on one's life than a felony conviction, but both carry severe consequences, so it is crucial to understand the distinction between them.

In this blog, we will explore what constitutes a misdemeanor and felony in California, how they are punished differently under the law, and other nuances between these two types of crimes.

Misdemeanors and Felonies Defined

In California, misdemeanors are offenses punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Misdemeanors include minor theft, possession of marijuana for personal use, simple battery, vandalism, and driving without a license.

Felonies, on the other hand, are more serious offenses that can be punished by up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Felonies include murder, rape, possession or sale of illegal drugs, burglary, and arson.

Punishment for Misdemeanors vs. Felonies

The punishment for misdemeanors typically involves a jail sentence of less than one year, probation, and a fine. The judge will consider the crime's nature, prior convictions, and other factors when determining the punishment for misdemeanors.

Felony punishments are more severe as they may involve a sentence of up to life in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. Felonies may also include probation, fines, and restitution to victims. A person convicted of a felony in California may also lose certain rights, such as voting or owning a firearm.

Work With Tustin Criminal Defense Attorneys

Whether you face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, working with a criminal defense attorney is crucial to fight back against these charges. The team at Law Offices of Visco & Selyem can help you navigate your case and find a successful outcome.

Learn more about how we can help with misdemeanors and felonies or schedule a case review by calling (714) 908-9080 or visiting our website.

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