Los Angeles Misdemeanor Attorney
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Misdemeanors are considered to be lesser crimes than felonies, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Some misdemeanors carry specific sentences according to their statutes. If you are charged with a misdemeanor that does not carry a specific sentence, the general rule for punishment is six months in jail and/or a fine. Along with this, however, a conviction will leave you with a permanent criminal record that can have negative consequences for your future.
In any criminal matter, you should have the benefit of a trusted criminal defense lawyer whose sole job is to fight for the most favorable outcome for you. The prosecutor’s job is to convict you and, without a strong defense mounted against the state’s efforts, your future may be at stake. At Castaneda Law, APC, we understand how vital our representation can be to the freedom and future of our clients. That is why our Los Angeles misdemeanor defense attorney is committed to creating a strong defense strategy.
More about California Misdemeanors
In California, misdemeanor offenses are categorized by the seriousness of the incident. However, these offenses can be standard misdemeanors or can be aggravated or gross misdemeanors. In aggravated or gross instances, fines may be elevated up to $2,000.
Examples of misdemeanors include:
- Simple possession of specific illegal drugs for personal use
- Shoplifting of goods valued at $950 or less
- Simple assault or battery without the use of a deadly weapon and that does not cause serious bodily injury
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Driving with a suspended license
- Domestic violence
- Reckless driving
- Probation violations
- Disorderly conduct
- Public drunkenness
- Violating a restraining order
In lieu of jail time, some misdemeanor offenses can lead to misdemeanor probation, also referred to as summary or informal probation. This involves a probationary period of one to three years during which time you will be subject to certain conditions set by the court. These conditions can include community service, house arrest, participation in treatment programs, or restitution to victims.
Misdemeanor Diversion Lawyer in Los Angeles
First-time misdemeanor offenders for certain charges may be able to undergo certain pretrial programs to avoid conviction. The Misdemeanor Diversion Program allows defendants to have their cases dismissed or erased entirely upon completion of certain court-ordered objectives. These objectives include treatment programs, education, or other alternatives to jail time or house arrest. The typical misdemeanor diversion program requires first-time offenders to provide some form of restitution (like community service) alongside completing a treatment program, typically for first-time drug or DUI offenses where no one was killed or seriously injured.
Judges have the discretion to offer diversion programs, which means your attorney would need to convince the judge that you deserve to have your misdemeanor charge dismissed. It's vital that you handle your arrest proactively from this moment forward, which means calling a Los Angeles misdemeanor attorney as soon as you can. Simply waiting for your court date without making preparations could be disastrous. But the right lawyer could make it so you leave the courthouse with a spotless legal record.