All crimes are classified into one of three categories: infractions, misdemeanors,
and felonies. Many people know that infractions and misdemeanors are generally
less serious than felonies, but they don’t know exactly why. On
this blog, we take a look at the difference between them and discuss how
it can seriously impact both your case and your future.
The Primary Difference
The least serious of these types of offenses are infractions, which generally
includes things like “moving violations,” or as they are better
known, traffic tickets. However, this can also include being cited for
a noise violation in your home, or being spotted littering by a police officer.
Misdemeanor crimes are the second-most serious and differ from felonies
in the amount in which they can be penalized. Misdemeanors are the first
types of crime that can include jail time as a punishment, however, they
can only receive up to a year in a county jail time at the absolute maximum.
Jail is not mandatory, however; the most common penalty for a misdemeanor
is a hefty fine, which state law allows judges to levy up to $1,000.
Felonies are the most serious type of crime, and can be penalized by more
than a year in either jail or state prison, all the way up to receiving
the death penalty in extremely rare cases. California law also allows
those convicted of a felony to be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000
in addition to their imprisonment.
Being accused of a felony in California has more consequences than just
jail time and a large fine. In addition, those who have been convicted
of a felony also face additional penalties once their sentence has been
completed. Those convicted of a felony sex crime are required to register
as a sex offender every year for the rest of their lives under what is
known as “Megan’s Law.”
A convicted felon loses their right to own a firearm for at least 10 years,
but could lose it for life if a judge deems it necessary. Additionally,
all felonies must be disclosed on job applications, and employers are
allowed to deny you a position based on this. Felonies also appear on
criminal background history, and certain violent felonies cannot be expunged
If you are facing a felony or misdemeanor crime, a Modesto criminal defense
attorney may be able to assist you with your case. Attorney
Mark Girdner utilizes his experience and knowledge gained as a Deputy District Attorney
to defend those who are facing the harshness of the criminal justice system.
He has a unique insight into the arguments and logic methods used by prosecutors,
which gives him an inside edge when it comes to helping you with your
case. When you are facing serious criminal charges, make sure you have
a trustworthy and knowledgeable advocate on your side who can fight for
To schedule your
initial consultation, call the Law Offices of Mark Girdner today at 209.326.1533.