If you have been charged with a Felony offense you should seek legal counsel right away even if charges have not been filed yet. The difference between a Felony offense and Misdemeanors are serious and can have a lifelong impact on your freedom, ability to obtain employment in the future, and even your ability to vote, or own a handgun.
As a former probation officer, deputy district attorney, and adjunct criminology instructor, and an Attorney that has obtained not guilty verdicts in five different counties, I have the knowlege of the system to make sure you are represented adequately and if at all possible kept out of prison.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FELONIES AND MISDEMEANORS
There are many differences in California between the two crimes. The main difference is that you cannot be sent to state prision for a misdemeanor. You can be sentenced to local jail depending on the severity of the crime. You can be sentenced to six months for some crimes and one year for other crimes. If you are convicted of certain a “violent misdemeanors” such as domestic violence battery and several others you right to own a firearm can be restricted for up to ten years minus a court order stating otherwise if your job requires a firearm.
CONVICTION OF A FELONY OFFENSE CAN MEAN PRISON TIME
A conviction of a Felony offense even a first time offense could result in jail time. There are many other consequences, such as losing the right to vote, losing the right to own a firearm, and many others. And for many people the most important part is that you can go to prison for a Felony. Even a first offense. And even if you are given probation.
MISDEMEANOR VERSUS FELONY PORBATION
What many people do not realize about Felony probation is that they are getting what amounts to a kind of stayed prison term. What that means is that if they violate there probation they could go to prison for that term. They are getting what is referred to a no initial state prison term. That does not mean you will never be sent to prison that just means right now you will not be sent to prison.
For more minor violations you could go for a short stint in the local county jail. However, if you continue to violate your probation officer could recommend you be sent to state prision for a term to be decided by the Judge. If you sign for a Felony conviction you could, even if you do not commit another offense go to state prison. Only for the most minor offenses will your probation officer go the route of “flashs incarceration” which means a short corrective stay in jail of usually 10 days to correct your behavior wihtout having to come before the Judge.
LOCAL PRISION COMMITMENTS
Under 1170 H certain Felony incarcerations are to be served at the local level rather than state prision. What this means is that you are a sentenced local prision commitment than you will not be transported to state prision you will serve out your prison commitment at the local jail. This could be good for several reasons you will be getting half time which means for every day you get a day credit.
And there is a presumption for what is called a split sentence.
WHAT IS A SPLIT SENTENCE?
What a split sentence is a sentence for example: You are sentenced to sixteen months in local jail. The time would be split in half. Meaning 8 month in jail and 8 months on supervision. This means that you could be out in four months which equals 8 months and is the split in time.
If you were sentenced to prison and say it was a crime not eligible for local time. You would be sentenced to sixteen months and must do the eight months followed by a parole term.
If you have any question give us a call at 559 441-1418.