Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable in jail for up to one year. They are crimes that are less serious than felonies but can still carry life altering consequences from jail time and/or fines.
Even though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, it can still affect a person’s life:
- A misdemeanor will likely show up on a background check
- It can affect one’s personal life
- If you are a non-citizen it can affect your ability to acquire your United States citizenship (depending on the type of misdemeanor)
- May prevent you from qualifying for certain licenses
- Potential loss of professional certifications
- In some cases, a misdemeanor can be raised to the level of a felony, depending on the seriousness of the crime, injuries to the victim if there is one, and the defendant’s prior criminal record
Some of the more common misdemeanors include:
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving without a Valid California Drivers License
- Drug Possession
- Drunk in Public
- Petty theft
Misdemeanor sentences carry charges that range from jail time (up to a year), probation, fines, and/or community service. Below are some possible penalties associated with a misdemeanor conviction.
- Jail time
- House arrest in lieu of jail time
- No jail time
- Community service
- Cal Trans (physical labor)
- Restitution (financial compensation to the victim by the defendant)
Misdemeanors may not be as severe in punishment and life long consequences as felonies, but a misdemeanor conviction can nonetheless be costly, in both financial and personal terms. A strong defense begins immediately, not in the court room! That is why it is pertinent that you contact The Law Office of Jimmy Cha immediately, in order to discuss what options and defenses are available to you.