Orange County's Premier Criminal Defense Boutique

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Criminal Defense Attorney in Fullerton Explains How Crimes Are Classified

Criminal Defense Attorney in Fullerton
As a criminal defense attorney in Fullerton, we help clients that have been charged with a variety of different crimes.  Regardless of how minor or how serious, it is important to work with a skilled lawyer that can help to get the charges reduced, dropped, or work to have a jury declare your innocence.  Even first-time offenders need to be aware of this as each time you are convicted the penalties get worse as the court begins to see a pattern of criminal behavior. 

If you are charged with a crime, there are three main types of classifications that those charges could fall under.  If convicted, the penalties will be based on the classification of the crime, making it important to work with a lawyer that can argue for a lesser charge and, therefore, lesser penalties, whenever possible. 

Infractions are the least serious type of offense.  The penalties are typically minor vehicle code violations and sometimes even municipal code matters.  An example of an infraction would be a speeding ticket.  Typically only fines are associated with infractions though they could lead to jail time if the fines aren’t paid or you receive too many though this is rare.  If you get a driving infraction, you may want to work with an attorney to help you fight the charge so that it doesn’t impact your insurance rates.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney in Fullerton right away.  There are several classifications within a misdemeanor charged based on the crime that you are accused of.  A misdemeanor conviction typically comes with a combination of jail time and a fine. It is important to fight these charges to ensure that you are either not convicted or get a minimal penalty that includes local jail rather than the state prison.  A conviction can go both ways in the sense that you could end up with a small fine and a short stint in the local jail, or you could be sent to state prison for years.  The key is to work with an attorney that is experienced and can fight for your innocence. 

This is the most serious criminal charge that can be brought against you and is typically used for everything from arson to murder.  Within the felony category, there are additional categories based on the type of crime that they claim you committed and how it was committed.  With murder, for example, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter (a lesser offense) or murder in the first degree (punishable by death in some states).  Since there are various levels of charges, it is important to get criminal defense attorney in Fullerton to take the case right away.  When working with the prosecutor from the very beginning, there may be ways to get the charges reduced before ever going to court.  Those convicted of a felony typically spend time in state prison and also pay a fine.
If you have been charged with a crime, or fear that you may be, give us a call to discuss your options and your defense.