Top-Rated California Criminal Defense Attorneys
Legal Specialists Serving Whittier and Beyond
When facing criminal charges in California, you should understand what you’re up against and the entire process in the state. It’s also important to learn more about criminal laws in California and the different penalties for each charge. This can complicate things depending on the nature of the charges against you, so it helps to work with an experienced legal firm that can provide solid criminal defense and representation.
Crime Categories in California
Here in California, any “crime” or “public offense” is defined as an act that constitutes a violation of the law. Crimes are categorized differently than under federal law. They’re also processed differently under California law than under federal law. Many types of crimes are defined under the California Penal Code, including the following listed below:
- Violent Crimes – These include assault, battery, homicide, and manslaughter, to name a few.
- DUI and Alcohol-Related Crimes – These include driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being a minor in possession of alcohol, and even public intoxication.
- Theft Crimes – These include petty theft, shoplifting, auto theft, and white-collar crimes such as embezzlement, fraud, and burglary.
Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies
In California, an infraction is a public offense that may not be technically considered a crime and isn’t punishable by possible imprisonment. For instance, traffic and parking violations are typically considered infractions since they can’t be punished by imprisonment. Hence, they don’t have the same right to a trial by jury as a misdemeanor or felony defendant. However, they’re still punishable by a fine, removal, or disqualification from public office.
A Misdemeanor is considered a mid-level offense in the state. This is more serious than an infraction but not on the same level as a felony. When charged with a misdemeanor in California, you can get imprisonment but only to a county jail, city jail, or detention facility. Also, the term of imprisonment can’t be more than one year in the state.
A felony is considered one of California’s most serious types of crime. It’s punishable by death or life imprisonment in a county jail or state prison depending on the charge. Those who are convicted of a felony can be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000, in addition to restitution for the damages the victim suffered. However, a felony defendant may also receive a sentence as light as probation.
Why the Right Criminal Lawyer Matters
When charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you must act quickly if you want to avoid getting wrongfully convicted. You can count on our legal team can assist you in each step of the legal process to ensure your voice is heard and get quality representation. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Ibarra today at (562) 452-9937 if you need a professional criminal defense lawyer to represent your case. You can also complete our convenient online form to get a free consultation!