Criminal offenses are designated as felonies, misdemeanors, or infractions based on factors such as the intention of the individual allegedly committing the crime and the extent of the impact it had on the victims and/or society at large. Of these three categories, felonies are considered to be the most serious type of crime and have the harshest penalties. However, in many cases misdemeanors can also carry hefty fines and/or jail time.
Regardless of what type of crime you are charged with, you need to take every step possible to fight the charges. The most important step you should take immediately following a criminal charge is to hire an experienced and aggressive Central Valley criminal lawyer.
What Constitutes a Misdemeanor?
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is less serious than a felony and more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by a fine and incarceration in a local county jail, unlike infractions which impose no jail tme.
Punishment for Misdemeanor Charges
The punishment for a misdemeanor charge can vary depending on the specific facts surrounding the crime. In most cases, punishment involves:
- Victim restitution
- Community service
- Mandatory drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Jail time
Other Potential Consequences of a Misdemeanor Conviction
Even though a misdemeanor charge may seem like “getting off easy” as compared to a felony, the reality is that a conviction can nevertheless impact you for the rest of your life. A conviction will show up any time an employer or landlord runs a background check on you. This can affect your ability of securing housing or employment in the future, as well tarnish your reputation.
In addition, many professions require you to keep a clean criminal record in order to stay in good standing. For example, if you are a physician, teacher or county worker, a misdemeanor may cause you a number of problems. As such, a misdemeanor charge should never be ignored.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone that you care about has been arrested or charged with a crime that you did not commit, it is important that you immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your legal rights and ensure that you have the best defense possible to avoid a criminal conviction.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley criminal defense attorney Gurjit Srai, please call us at (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.