Misdemeanor

What If I Am Arrested for a Misdemeanor in California?

Our San Jose Misdemeanor Attorneys Can Help You

The state of California defines a misdemeanor crime as a criminal offense that carries with it a potential penalty of 364 days or less in county jail (one less day than a year). There are also usually fines. Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felony crimes, which carry more significant jail time and fines. Felonies are typically more major offenses, such as involving violence, drugs or gang activity. However, misdemeanors are still to be taken seriously, as nobody wants to spend any time in jail or have to pay a fine. You should still seek out a criminal defense attorney in California to help you with any misdemeanor criminal charges.

The Law Offices of Richard Wingerden provide the services of an experienced San Jose misdemeanor attorney. Richard Wingerden has over 16 years of legal experience and in that time has developed strong trust-related relationships with judges, district attorneys, the California criminal bar, investigators and the community. If you have committed a misdemeanor, you have made a mistake, but “to err is human” as they say. You may have exercised poor judgment or let your emotions get the best of you in the heat of a moment. Now is the time to turn things around with the help of a Bay Area criminal defense attorney. You may also have been wrongly accused, which means you need a competent legal advocate to hear you out and examine the evidence to build your defense.

What Are Some Examples of Misdemeanors in California?

Misdemeanors are not typically violent crimes. However, such offenses can still have caused some sort of harm. Some examples of misdemeanors include soliciting a prostitute, shoplifting, vandalism, traffic violations, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and probation violations. Domestic violence and DUIs in California can either be classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending upon the circumstances, such as the offender’s record, if they have been charged with the crime before, how much damage they have done and more.

DUIs are one of the most common misdemeanor offenses. However, a misdemeanor can be considered a felony if:

  • The crime resulted in the injury or death of another person
  • You have had three or more DUIs in the past ten years
  • You have a prior DUI felony conviction on your record

Even if the incident that resulted in your DUI charges caused injury or death, or you have prior DUI misdemeanors on your record, a judge might still rule that your DUI was a misdemeanor based upon the evidence and circumstances. This is one example of why it is important to have a San Jose misdemeanor attorney on your side to argue in your defense and try to help you achieve the best possible legal outcome.

What Are My Options If I am Charged With a Misdemeanor in California?

If you feel that you have been wrongly accused, turn to a San Jose misdemeanor attorney and explain your side of things to them. At our Bay Area criminal law firm, we will hear you out, examine the evidence and try to mount the best defense possible to exonerate you legally. If you have been charged with a more serious crime, a San Jose criminal defense attorney may be able to plea bargain and have it reduced to a misdemeanor. If you are facing misdemeanor charges, your legal counsel will try to get you the best possible result to reduce or avoid jail time and fines.

It is also possible that your attorney will be also able to negotiate an alternative to jail time, such as doing some type of community service. For example, in the state of California, you would not have to do jail time in most jurisdictions for a DUI. Instead, you can join the Sheriff’s Weekend Work Program to pick up trash alongside roadsides. However, it is unlikely that you will get as good of a result if you represent yourself instead of trusting an attorney with experience in dealing with misdemeanor criminal charges.

Contact a San Jose Misdemeanor Attorney for a Free Consultation

If charged with a misdemeanor, your safest bet is to talk to a San Jose misdemeanor attorney like Richard Wingerden. He will hear out your side of the story without bias and advocate for your best interests. You cannot assume that a misdemeanor is only a minor offense that you can handle yourself. Jail time and fines can add up and disrupt your life. Do not allow that to happen.

Call our office at (408) 564-5870 or contact us online for a free consultation about your legal options.