Do you live in Los Angeles? If so, then there are a few things you should know about criminal law, which includes what misdemeanors and felonies are, as well as the different types. You should also know what you should do if you are charged with a crime. The rest of this article will discuss those things in more detail.
Misdemeanors And Felonies
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime in Los Angeles, then they will either be facing a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor is considered a minor wrongdoing and it is less serious than a felony. A felony is more serious and it usually carries severer punishments than a misdemeanor, which may include imprisonment.
Types Of Misdemeanors
A crime is labeled a misdemeanor based on various factors, such as where you live and what crime you committed. For example, one city may consider a certain crime a misdemeanor, while another city will consider the same crime to be more serious than a misdemeanor or they may class it as a misdemeanor, but just a more serious one. There are different classes or grades of misdemeanors.
With that said, some misdemeanors may include simple assault, petty theft or prostitution. Other crimes may include disorderly conduct, reckless driving, trespassing and possessing cannabis to name a few.
As previously mentioned, there are various types of misdemeanors and some are classed as being more serious than others.
Types Of Felonies
Felonies, like a misdemeanor, can be graded or classed in different areas of the country. For example, there are Class A and Class B felonies in some areas. More serious felonies usually result in severer punishment.
Generally speaking, aggravated assault and battery or assault and battery with intent to do bodily harm are usually considered felonies. Arson, robbery, burglary and fraud are other crimes typically classed as felonies. Other crimes include grand theft, espionage, and embezzlement. Illegal drug abuse and selling illegal drugs can result in being charged with a felony.
Keep in mind those are only a few of the many examples of crimes that can charge as a felony.
Criminal Trial Process
Generally speaking, four things happen when after you’re arrested and charged in LA. First, you will usually entitled to bail and then you will be arraigned. If you’re charged with a felony, then you’ll be indicted and you’ll appear at a probable cause hearing. Once arraigned, you’ll usually be entitled to receive reports related to your case, which is known as the discovery process. Eventually, your case will go to trial, and you can choose a single judge trial or a jury trial.
What To Do If You’re Charged With A Crime In LA
After you’re charged with a crime, you’ll want to hire a criminal defense attorney. An LA criminal defense lawyer has experience defending people charged with a crime in LA, and these crimes can either be felonies or misdemeanors. Some attorneys deal with only misdemeanors and minor offenses, while some attorneys handle all kinds of cases. There are also attorneys that focus only on serious cases, such as murder, violent assault and battery and so forth. Regardless of what you’re charged with, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer in LA.
Finding And Choosing A Good LA Criminal Defense Lawyer
Find an LA criminal defense lawyer that defends clients against the type of crime and charge you are facing. It makes no sense to hire an attorney that specializes in something completely different. Experience is important, so hire an attorney that has been representing clients for many years or has handled many cases within the last few years. There’s a difference between an LA criminal defense lawyer who has worked no cases in 10 years and an attorney that has handled dozens of cases in the past year. The key is to hire an experienced attorney you feel comfortable with.
Criminal law is complex and if you’re ever charged with a crime, then hire an attorney. Sure, you’ll receive a court-appointed attorney, but it is far better to hire your own lawyer. This is especially the case if you are being charged with a serious offense that can result in severe punishment.