Misdemeanors, although they may be thought of as “minor” crimes, carry a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail, plus a stiff fine. These penalties can definitely cause a major disruption in the life of an individual and his or her family. Someone who is facing one or more misdemeanor charges— including “wobbler” charges that could end up as felonies— should get the most experienced and skilled legal representation they can.
Knowledge and Commitment
The criminal defense attorneys at Sigal Law Group, PC have the knowledge and commitment to provide the right defense for misdemeanor charges in California. They fight for the best possible outcome for each client's case, at each stage of the criminal process:
- pretrial hearing
“Wobblers” : Misdemeanor or Felony Charges
In the California Penal Code, a number of offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It's the discretion of the district attorney. Examples of these “wobbler” crimes are:
- domestic violence
- some drug offenses
- assault, battery
- criminal threats
- hit and run
- possession of firearm
Three Strikes Involvement
There are further reasons to be concerned about the possibility of a misdemeanor conviction—they count toward the “three strikes and you're out” laws in California. In addition, a misdemeanor conviction on one's record can adversely affect his or her housing, job/career progress and family relationships. It is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will work tirelessly to minimize the possibility of conviction and the severity of the charges.
If an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor, his or her sentence may include:
- restitution (paying back the victim; e.g., for a theft)
- community service
- mandatory counseling (e.g., psychological, anger, or drug/alcohol counseling)
- incarceration (jail or prison)
It's far better to obtain a sentence of community service than prison, for example. It is also of note that time spent in a county jail can be worse than that in a prison, since prisons are at least set up to have long-term social services.
If you're facing a misdemeanor charge in California, talk to a Sigal Law Group Los Angeles misdemeanor attorney today. We understand California's legal process and will fight aggressively to protect and your rights.