Types of Criminal Cases in Orange County

If you are facing criminal charges in Orange County, California and you are facing the possibility of jail or prison, you, the defendant, have the right to be represented by a criminal attorney.

Criminal proceedings are complicated no matter what part of Southern California you’re in, the consequences, whether you’re facing community service, probation, fines, or incarceration can be severe.

For example, if you’re a non-U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction can lead to deportation or you can be barred from ever becoming a U.S. citizen, especially if it was a crime of violence, fraud or drug-related.

Three Types of Criminal Cases in California

If law enforcement and the state believe you committed a crime that violated state law, you will have to go to criminal court. If the District Attorney’s Office decides to press charges because they think they have sufficient evidence, the DA will represent the state in the case against you.

In California, each county has its own District’s Attorney’s Office that prosecutes criminal cases, however, certain crimes are not prosecuted by the DA; instead they’re prosecuted by the city attorney.

If you’ve been on a local department’s radar, or if you’ve had a detective asking other people questions about you, you should know that you can only be charged with a criminal offense by the government, not by an individual detective or by a police department that seems to be suspicious of you.

California has three types of criminal cases:

  • Infractions: These are minor violations and many of them include traffic violations. Usually, the punishment consists of a fine, but there is no jail time.
  • Misdemeanors: These are minor offenses punishable by up to 1 year in county jail, and/or $1,000 fine.
  • Felonies: These are the most serious of the three. A felony is punishable by at least one year in state prison, although most sentences are 16 months or longer. Examples of felonies, include possessing illegal drugs for sale, rape, robbery, and murder.

If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you should hire a criminal lawyer to represent you. The consequences of being convicted in criminal court could mean jail or prison, so it is in your best interests to have a hard-hitting defense lawyer in your corner.

Seeking an Orange County criminal defense attorney? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to schedule a free case evaluation.

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