Skilled Criminal Lawyer in Los Angeles - Felony - Three Strikes Law - Misdemeanor

Whether an alleged offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony can make a diffeence in terms of sentencing. Mitigation evidence presented skillfully by a criminal lawyer before charges are filed can result in a misdemeanor rather than felony charge in rare cases. Misdemeanor sentencing can include up to one year in the county jail, whereas felonies usually require significant time in state prison and higher fines with the potential for strict terms of eventual parole. The damage to a person's criminal record is also far more severe with a felony conviction and can include future sentencing enhancements including extended prison time for prior prison term felony convictions and strike priors under the three strikes law.

Felony and Misdemeanor Cases

California categorizes most criminal charges as either a felony or misdemeanor. Misdemeanor charges are considered less serious. For example, DUI / DWI where there are no injuries, first offense petty theft, driving without a license, battery, giving false infomation to a police officer, gang injunction violations, etc. are misdemeanors. Felonies include serious charges like homicide, burglary, robbery, racketeering, and murder, or gang related crimes. Some offenses can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the evidence, conduct at issue, and the prosecutor's discretion. Crimes that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony are frequently referred to by judges and criminal lawyers as "wobblers." Wobblers include for example: fraudulent possession, theft, forgery, hit and run with injury, possession of a controlled substance, grand theft, vandalism, media piracy, domestic violence, child endangerment, assault with a firearm, possession of fire arms, criminal threats, witness intimidation, etc. In some cases a wobbler may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code Sections 1385 and 17(b) following a successful preliminary hearing by a skilled criminal lawyer.

Skilled legal counsel should thoroughly analyze all of the facts, evidence, and defenses to negotiate on behalf of a person arrested for a misdemeanor or felony. Search and seizure issues, the validity of search warrants, speedy trial rights, and other potential defenses should be considered. The criminal lawyer should also be prepared to conduct a strong preliminary hearing if necessary in defending felony cases. All of the same constitutional rights apply to both felonies and misdemeanors. Please call (310) 503-6213 or visit our home page for additional information.