What is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony?

The basic difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the punishment that goes along with each. Misdemeanors in California usually result in 364 days or less in a county jail and/or a $10,000 fine or less. In a felony, the fine is more than $10,000 and the jail time would be more than 365 days, which would usually be spent in state prison.

Do Most Cases End Up Going To Trial Or Do They Settle?

In my opinion about 80 to 90 percent of cases settle. The reason why a case is settled varies from case to case.

How Much Would A Prior Play Into Resolving The Case And Sentencing?

This would depend on what the arrest was for and/or what the prior conviction is for, and when it happened. Obviously, an arrest and conviction are two different things, and being arrested on a prior occasion would not be as serious as a prior conviction.

An arrest would mean the police or the government believed the person committed the crime but at some point, the case was either never filed or it was dismissed. In this case, ones criminal record would still be “clean”. A conviction would be different; it would tarnish one’s criminal record, making it harder to negotiate a great plea deal. It would also not help if the conviction was recent and/or similar to the current charge(s) the person has been arrested for.

California has a three-strikes law, so if the person’s past conviction was a “strike” and their new charge is a felony, the previous strike could double up the prison time the person is facing. A third strike that could result in a life sentence.

For more information on Misdemeanors Felonies And Penalties, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (310) 894-8548 today.