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California Felony & Misdemeanor Charges

  • By: Donald J. Matson, Esq.
  • Published: October 30, 2021
California Felony & Misdemeanor Charges

What Makes Misdemeanor Crimes & Felonies Different In California?

Like most other American states, California treats a felony crime as significantly more severe in nature than a misdemeanor offense. The penalties associated with a felony charge if prosecutors are successful are typically tougher and last much longer.

The most important difference to recognize between a misdemeanor and felony charges is the severity of all associated penalties, as well as the length of incarceration. This is what you should know.

Felonies Defined

Felony charges generally carry a penalty of more than one year in state prison. It’s normally a violent crime that involves deliberately causing critical bodily injury to someone else. Or, felony charges may be assessed when someone obtains large sums of money illegally.

These are a few examples of common felony offenses:

  • Knowingly murdering another person
  • Killing another person due to extreme negligence or carelessness
  • Raping another person
  • Making terroristic threats

Felonies Vs. Misdemeanors In California

A misdemeanor, on the other hand, is defined as a crime that carries a penalty of less than one year in a local detention facility. These charges are reserved for individuals who commit what are often called “victimless” crimes. Misdemeanors may include:

  • Theft under a certain amount of money
  • Acting disorderly in public
  • Receiving items that were previously stolen
  • Possession of drugs for personal use

Comparing Penalties

Your civil rights could be revoked if you are found guilty of a felony charge in a court of law. This may make it harder for a person to acquire firearms or obtain professional licensure. Misdemeanors are penalized less harshly, often with minimal jail time, community service, mandatory counseling, etc.

How To Get Help From An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer In Your Area

Don’t hesitate to get legal assistance after being charged with any criminal offense, regardless of how minor it may seem. You stand to incur penalties that can result in significant life changes, many of which are difficult or even impossible to recover from.

Donald J. Matson understands how frightening and upsetting it can be to face criminal charges. Our team is available now to provide you with the legal help you need when you need it most.

Call today for your consultation by dialing (626) 600-3437. Our team of compassionate, zealous defense lawyers are ready to review your case to let you know where you stand and what the best possible course of action might be.

Donald J. Matson, Esq.

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