If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in Los Angeles or Oahu, it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel from an experienced misdemeanor defense attorney. A misdemeanor charge is a criminal charge, and it should not be taken lightly.
At The Sands Law Group, APLC, our team of highly-skilled, knowledgeable Los Angeles misdemeanor defense attorneys will review your case, determine how to proceed, ensure that you fully understand your rights and options, and position you for the best possible outcome.
We will work tirelessly to protect your rights and best interests, offering affordable legal services in English, Arabic, French, Hebrew, and Spanish. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.
What is a Misdemeanor in California?
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense. As such, a conviction can result in hefty fines, jail time, and a permanent criminal record. In both California and Hawaii, a misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction (a minor crime that may carry a fine but that does not impose a jail sentence or criminal record), but less serious than a felony (a serious crime that is usually punishable by more than one year in prison, and up to life imprisonment).
Whether you have been charged with DUI, petty theft, or public intoxication, you should contact an experienced misdemeanor offense attorney without delay. A criminal record can haunt you for years, preventing you from getting housing, the job you want, and even disrupting a child custody arrangement.
Examples of Misdemeanors in California
In California, the term misdemeanor applies to an array of small crimes.
Some of the most common examples of misdemeanor offenses include:
- Reckless driving
- Drug possession
- Public drunkenness
- Domestic violence
Skilled legal representation is critical to a favorable outcome if you are facing any type of misdemeanor charges. Contact an experienced Los Angeles misdemeanor defense lawyer today.
What Is The Punishment For a Misdemeanor in California?
In California, a misdemeanor conviction carries a maximum punishment of no more than one year in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000. Misdemeanors in CA are further broken down into one of two categories:
- Standard, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail; and
- Gross, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 364 days in jail.
California “wobbler” offenses are crimes that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or infraction, or a misdemeanor or felony. Punishments for wobbler offenses will depend on the type of conviction. Examples of common wobbler offenses include child endangerment, DUI, domestic violence, embezzlement, and brandishing a weapon.
Benefits of Hiring a Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer
Some individuals who have been charged with a misdemeanor offense make the mistake of thinking the charges aren’t that serious and attempt to defend them on their own. Many of these individuals end up behind bars, with a permanent record, and spending more money overall than they would have with legal representation.
Furthermore, misdemeanor charges can easily be elevated to felony charges when aggravating circumstances are present. This is particularly true with California wobbler offenses. Don’t let a careless mistake turn into a felony conviction.
The Los Angeles Misdemeanor Defense Attorney at The Sands Law Group, APLC have an impressive track record of getting clients’ charges reduced or dismissed entirely, and we charge affordable rates so that our clients can move on with their lives as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
What Is a ‘Wobbler’ Crime in California?
Wobbler crimes are California offenses for which charges can essentially “wobble” from a misdemeanor to a felony, or a misdemeanor to an infraction, based on the circumstances of the case. A first-offense DUI, for example, may be charged as a misdemeanor if nobody was injured, but as a felony if the offense resulted in bodily harm.
What Happens If I Am Charged With a Misdemeanor?
You may or may not be arrested for the offense you are being charged with. In most cases, you will receive a police citation, ordering you to appear in court for your arraignment on a specific date. In the interim, the District Attorney (DA) will determine the charges against you. You will learn what these charges are at your arraignment, at which point you will be asked to enter a plea.
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record?
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor offense, it can remain on your criminal record indefinitely. In layman’s terms, it can stay there forever. However, standard background checks conducted for housing and most jobs generally won’t be able to access this record after a certain number of years. Furthermore, with the help of an experienced defense attorney, you may be able to have a misdemeanor conviction expunged (removed) after a period of time.
Contact Our Compassionate Los Angeles Misdemeanor Attorneys
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor in California, the skilled LA misdemeanor defense attorneys at The Sands Law Group, APLC can help. We have successfully defended the rights of countless individuals charged with criminal offenses, from shoplifting to attempted murder. Don’t attempt to go through this stressful, complicated process without the help of an experienced misdemeanor attorney by your side. Contact us today for a confidential consultation about your case.