Riverside County courthouse, Riverside, California
Defending and Protecting since 2004

Felonies and Misdemeanors

John M. Dorr handles all felonies and misdemeanors:

In California, a felony is “a crime that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in the state prison, or notwithstanding any other provision of law, by imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions.” Penal Code §17.

In other words, a felony is any criminal offense that has at least some form of state prison as a potential punishment. Conversely, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense that can only subject you to probation and up to 1 year in county jail. A misdemeanor does not have state prison as a possible punishment.

Examples of felonies that have life in prison as a possible sentence include first-degree murder, second-degree murder, premediated attempted murder, kidnapping for ransom, and carjacking with an allegation that it was done for the benefit of a criminal street gang. The five crimes that were just mentioned are also all ‘strikes’ under California’s Three Strikes’ Law.

Examples of additional felonies that are also ‘strikes’, but do not have life in prison as a possible sentence include first-degree burglary, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon and arson.

Examples of crimes that are felonies, but are not ‘strikes’ under the Three Strikes’ Law include second-degree burglary, grand theft, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and some domestic violence charges.

Examples of misdemeanors include petty theft, possession of narcotics, possession of marijuana for sale, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license, drunk in public, prostitution, some domestic violence charges and burglary.

In addition to county jail or state prison terms and the probation or parole that follows, all convictions have additional terms that are required by the court. For example, many convictions require a defendant to complete a class of some type such as anger management, domestic violence, or a parenting class.

Other convictions, such as a conviction for PC §242 misdemeanor battery, prohibit a convicted person from owning and/or possessing a firearm and/or ammunition for 10 years. Additionally, other misdemeanors convictions such as a DUI conviction can result in license suspensions and/or revocations with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As you can tell by the above examples, there are so many bases you need to cover when charged with a criminal offense. Whether charged with a misdemeanor or felony, with so many possible outcomes to the various criminal charges, you need an experienced, strong attorney to navigate through the muddy legal waters and get you the best possible outcome for your unique case.

No matter the criminal charge, John M. Dorr is here to assist you 24 hours a day!

Call us anytime!