There are three different types of crime or offenses in California, and each carries different penalties and implications for you as a defendant. They are:

  • Infractions
  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies

Infractions are offenses, such as speeding tickets, that are not crimes but are punishable by fines.

Misdemeanors are crimes for which you can be imprisoned in a city or county jail or detention facility for up to one year. Most defendants receive the option to serve probation but circumstances will be different depending on the history of the defendant and the circumstances of the crime.

Felonies are serious crimes that typically can be punished by imprisonment in a state prison or, in special cases, put to death. Persons arrested for felonies can also be granted probation. However, courts can also impose conditions of jail time in county jail, monetary fines, restitution to the victim, and other conditions that are reasonably related to the defendant’s crime.

Types of Felonies

Felonies can include charges such as aggravated assault, animal cruelty, arson, felony assault, grand larceny, kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, sale of manufacture of drugs, and tax evasion.

What To Do If You Are Arrested For A Felony?

If you are arrested on a felony charge you should follow the guidelines that we discuss elsewhere on the site:

  • Know your fifth amendment right to remain silent.
  • Remain polite when talking police.
  • Understand what you are being charged with.
  • Contact our office immediately.

Do Not Post Bail Without Speaking To An Attorney

This is important. When you are arrested the police and the prosecutors are against you. They know the technicalities of the law. What you say in police custody can work against you. When you have an attorney review the facts of the charges against you she may be able to reduce bail or get it eliminated altogether.

Afterward, explain to your friends, family, and spouse that you cannot discuss the details of the case against you. Anything you tell friends may come back to haunt you later during an investigation and trial. Instead, you should calmly sit down and make two lists. List one is a recollection of all the events that led up to and happened during your arrest. The second is a list of any witnesses to the events. These will help your attorney greatly in deciding how to move forward with your case.