Cases & Results



Many of my clients ask me what the difference is between a felony and a misdemeanor.  You would think this was a simple question, but it’s not.  What I can tell you is that a felony comes with more consequences than a misdemeanor and a felony is viewed as more serious than a misdemeanor offense. Long story short, you want to try and avoid a felony conviction at all costs.

Further, if you are convicted of a felony you lose the right to vote and you can no longer own, use or possess a gun or ammunition.  Many people will lose their job if they are convicted of a felony and it can have other unforeseen consequences that can reek havoc on your life.  Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid a felony conviction if you can or at least have you attorney set it up so you can earn a misdemeanor and a eventual dismissal of your case.  In California there is not such thing as a true expungement, so it is better to refer to it as a dismissal of your misdemeanor or felony.

Another important thing to consider is that the punishment for a felony is much more serious than a misdemeanor.  Most felony charges can subject you to significant time in state prison.  Whereas you are typically only looking at up to a year for most misdemeanor cases.  Also, if you are convicted of a felony the system will typically put more controls over your movement and actions when you are released from custody.  Most people who are convicted of felonies will be put on probation and have to report to a probation officer every month.  Their travel outside California will be restricted and they will have to let their probation officer know where they are working and living while they are on probation.

It appears that the authorities feel that if you commit a felony your are more likely to continue to be a threat to society than someone with a clean record.  Just like most employers are a lot less likely to hire you or trust you to work for them because of the stigma a felony can carry with it.  Additionally, if you are stopped by the police with a felony on your record, it is my experience that they will cut corners as far as your rights and try and see if they can get you for something else.

The bottom line, is that it is important to hire an attorney who is aware of the ramifications a felony can carry, so they can do everything possible to avoid such a conviction for you.  If it is not possible to avoid a felony conviction, then I always try and set up a scenario with the prosecutors and judge where they agree that if my client can get their act together and show them that they are on the straight and narrow, then they will consider a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor in the future.  With this on the record, you now have a target to aim for and a mind set that knows you can overcome this felony and move on with your life in a positive direction.