California Criminal Laws & Penalties
There are two main types of crimes in California: misdemeanors and felonies. Although felonies are more serious than misdemeanors, a conviction of either charge can lead to time behind bars, fines, and other serious penalties.
A misdemeanor is generally punishable by a maximum jail term of six months and a fine not exceeding $1,000. On the other hand, an “aggravated” or “gross” misdemeanor carries a jail sentence of up to one year.
When it comes to felonies, they are typically punished based on three fixed prison sentences: two years (low term), four years (middle term), or six years (high term). For felonies without specific prison terms, a conviction may lead to a county jail sentence of either 16 months, two years, or three years.
According to California’s “three strikes” law, individuals who were previously convicted of serious or violent felonies must serve lengthier prison terms if convicted. For instance, if you had two or more previous convictions, you could be facing a prison sentence between 25 years and life – not including a potential sentence enhance of up to five years for each previous serious felony conviction.
Lastly, some crimes in California are “wobblers,” meaning they could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the incident.
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Attorney Nakano has helped countless clients avoid serious criminal penalties and get their lives back on track, which is why he has a significant number of referrals. He also provides Spanish-speaking legal services. Do not wait to let a San Jose criminal defense attorney fight for you.