Misdemeanors are important because being charged with any crime has a big impact on a person’s life. Misdemeanors exist on the books of local cities, the State of California, and even the federal government. A misdemeanor, by definition, is a criminal offense that carries up to one year in County Jail in the event of conviction. Significant fines, in the thousands of dollars, can also be assessed, along with days or weeks of community service, physical labor, and many other conditions of probation. The requirement of restitution to crime victims applies just as much in misdemeanor cases as it does in felony cases.
Prosecution Can Be A Very Dangerous, Threatening Thing
Misdemeanor convictions go on a person’s permanent record, and in one form or another they stay there forever, so misdemeanor defense demands the same attention and effective advocacy as any other case.
The most common misdemeanors people think of, and get arrested and prosecuted for, tend to be crimes like petty theft, DUI, domestic violence, battery, disturbing the peace, and some narcotics offenses. But misdemeanor offenses, especially in large cities with large prosecutor’s offices, can also include environmental crimes, fraud, elder abuse, permit and code violations, and other, “non-street” crimes. Prosecutors in cities with such laws often fund entire units or divisions to pursue suspected offenders, and they try and grab headlines, seek heavy penalties, and make an example out of people they go after. Depending on the circumstance and the individual client, a misdemeanor prosecution can be a very dangerous, threatening thing.
In addition, often times, a person is arrested for what the law calls a “wobbler,” that is, a crime which can be charged either as a felony or misdemeanor. In the case of a wobbler, the police will arrest, book and sometimes set bail as though a felony were charged. Only a prosecutor can decide, though, whether to file a charge at all, and whether to file a misdemeanor or felony. The goal of defense counsel must be to persuade a prosecutor’s office to file no charge, or at most a misdemeanor.
You Need Exceptional Defense Counsel At Your Side
In any of these situations, you need exceptional defense counsel at your side. We know the process and court system closely, from years of defending clients in all types of misdemeanor cases. We want to avoid your being charged with a crime; there are creative and innovative ways to show good faith to a prosecutor, help a crime victim feel vindicated or made whole, and to demonstrate that our client need not be prosecuted for the community’s interests to be served. We work with you closely to fashion the right result, our goal being to keep you out of trouble, out of jail, and out of the limelight. If you are already charged, we build a professional and collegial rapport with the prosecutor, so that when we appear in court, our good relationship with them can reduce the stress of an adversarial system, engender trust and respect, assure them that you and we take the matter most seriously, and set things on a path toward favorable resolution for you.
Meister Law, The Right Defense Counsel.
If you or someone you care about is under investigation for or charged with a misdemeanor, call the Meister Law Offices at 213-293-3737 for a free consultation, and let us help you.