WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MISDEMEANOR AND A FELONY?
When You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
Misdemeanors carry a maximum possible sentence of up to one year in county jail. Felonies are generally more serious offenses and can result in being sentenced to imprisonment in state prison for at least a year, and potentially much longer depending on the charge.
Some crimes are called ‘wobblers’, which means they can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If you are accused of one of these offenses, the prosecution will decide how you will be charged depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the case, as well as any criminal record that you may have.
For example, domestic violence and DUI can be charged either way depending on the facts and the District Attorney’s discretion. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, there are several potential problems other than jail or prison if convicted. They include:
- As an adult, a criminal conviction becomes part of your permanent record and can appear on employer background checks.
- Drug or sex offender registration.
- Non-citizens may face immigration issues, including deportation.
- Loss of privileges, including driving, voting, travel, and gun ownership.
At Martinez-Salopek, LLC, we are very sensitive to the many ways a criminal conviction can impact your life. Our goal is to always ensure that if you have to plea to any charges that these charges have the least minimum negative consequences on your life.