CALIFORNIA LAW: WHAT CONSTITUTES AS MISDEMEANOR

A misdemeanor is a crime less serious compared to a felony, therefore the punishment for the same is lesser as well. It is, however, a more severe crime than an infraction. DUI, domestic violence, and shoplifting may fall under the misdemeanor category, and charges will be laid against the offender accordingly. At most, the judge might sentence a criminal to one year of imprisonment in the county jail. Many first-time offenses are seen as a misdemeanor and treated accordingly. Continue reading this article to find out all about the penalty of such crimes and what one can do to get legal help in such a situation.

Types of Misdemeanor: In California, misdemeanors are two types: Standard misdemeanor and Aggregated/Gross misdemeanor. If the judge considers a violation a standard misdemeanor, the charges are most likely to be six months in jail with a fine of up to $1000. But if the crime is premeditated, it falls under the category of aggregated misdemeanor with charges more severe. It is advisable to opt for bail and get out of jail as soon as possible. Getting out on bail allows one to prepare for the upcoming trial and build a strong defense.

  • Misdemeanors are bailable offenses, so one may opt for bail when arrested. The defendant will be promptly presented to the court for a bail hearing where a bail amount will be set. If the defendant finds the court bail to be excessive, he may request the judge to reconsider the amount. The judge might evaluate the financial condition of the arrested person, and if he thinks fit, he may reduce the bail amount.
  • Most bail amounts are set from a pre-determined bail schedule. Therefore, no judge can set a particularly high bail sum for a defendant. However, an arrestee always has the option to go for surety bail bonds by using his property as an asset to pay the bail. In California, people get assistance from reliable bail bonds Sacramento for a fast release from jail. The bail agents usually take 10% of the whole amount as a fee for their service.

Example of Misdemeanors: You might wonder, what are the different types of a misdemeanor in California? Drunk driving or driving under the influence of an illegal substance is one of the most common forms of a misdemeanor in the state. DUI, without injury, falls under the vehicle codes 23152 (a) and (b) and is a punishable offense. Other forms of standard misdemeanors include drug possession, drunk in public, petty theft, prostitution, shoplifting, and trespassing. Indecent exposure is also considered a misdemeanor only when it is a first-time offense. While these are standard misdemeanors, aggregated misdemeanors may include Domestic battery, violating restraining orders, driving with a suspended license, and more.

Many may wonder if a misdemeanor offense gives you a criminal history. The short answer is yes; a misdemeanor is a crime, and therefore, will show up in the record if someone conducts a background check. But there are ways to expunge the record as California law allows expungement of most misdemeanor crimes. A person who has his records expunged can clearly deny having a criminal record if asked in a job interview.

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