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Charles Magill

Fresno Defense Attorneys | Fresno Criminal Defense | Central Valley Criminal Defense Law Firm

Misdemeanor

Fresno Misdemeanor Attorney

There is a common misconception that misdemeanor arrests are minor, and nothing to worry about, but any Fresno misdemeanor attorney will tell you nothing could be further from the truth.

Misdemeanors may be less serious than felonies, but they are much more serious than an infraction, such as speeding. While a felony conviction can end with a prison term of more than one year, a misdemeanor sentence can include a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000. There are some misdemeanors that, under certain circumstances, can even be upgraded to a felony.

For instance, if you have been charged with a misdemeanor and have a prior criminal conviction, the chances of your misdemeanor charges being upgraded to a felony are amplified. You do not need to have a violent criminal past for the prosecution to upgrade a misdemeanor charge to a felony.  A DUI, a shoplifting conviction, or any other minor crime from your past, may cause the prosecution to elevate a misdemeanor to a felony.  In certain cases, a misdemeanor may also be elevated to a felony if the crime in question caused injuries to the victim.

If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, you can expect:

  • Probation with or without jail time
  • Counseling
  • Community service
  • Fines and penalties
  • Restitution

In case of a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction, the court may even order you to stay away from the person who made the allegations against you, severely impacting your personal life.

A misdemeanor arrest is no small matter.  A misdemeanor conviction can carry significant penalties, appear on your criminal record, and in some cases, be elevated to a felony.  Prosecutors will take into consideration the seriousness of the crime, as well as many other factors, before deciding to elevate a misdemeanor to a felony. Being charged with a felony not just makes your case more difficult and expensive to defend, but also opens up an entire range of strict and severe penalties if you are convicted.  It is vital to contact a Fresno misdemeanor defense lawyer as soon as you are charged with any crime.