Types of Misdemeanors in California
The specific penalties you could face for a misdemeanor conviction depend on the type of criminal charges brought against you. Misdemeanors fall into one of two categories based on the severity of the crime.
The two categories of misdemeanors include:
- Standard misdemeanors– Also called “petty offenses,” this level of misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of $1,000 and a maximum jail sentence of 6 months. Crimes that are typically charged as standard misdemeanors include prostitution, trespassing, petty theft, indecent exposure, drug possession, and public drunkenness.
- Aggravated misdemeanors – Also referred to as “gross misdemeanors,” these offenses are considered more serious than standard misdemeanors. The maximum sentence for this type of misdemeanor is 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Common aggravated misdemeanors include DUI without injury, driving on a suspended license, domestic battery, and violating a restraining order.
California Wobbler Offenses
In California, there are certain offenses that can either be charged as a more serious crime or a less serious crime. These types of crimes are known as “wobblers.” There are 2 types of wobbler offenses, including misdemeanor/felony wobblers and misdemeanor/infraction wobblers. The prosecutor will determine how to charge a wobbler based on the facts of the case and the alleged offender’s criminal history.
Examples of misdemeanor/felony wobblers include:
- Elder abuse – When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, this offense carries a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $6,000.
- Assault with a deadly weapon – When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, an offender can face up to 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Examples of misdemeanor/infraction wobblers include:
- Wobbler trespassing – When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, this crime is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Disturbing the peace – When prosecuted as a misdemeanor, this offense results in up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $400.
Speak to a Santa Ana Misdemeanor Lawyer
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, turn to the Law Offices of Jason L. Johnson & Associates for reliable legal counsel and aggressive representation.
Contact our firm today at (714) 852-3858 to discuss your rights and options with a knowledgeable attorney.