Misdemeanor & Felony Defense Lawyer in Dublin, CA
More than 25 Years of Experience in the Tri-Valley Area
Criminal charges may disrupt your life and make you anxious for your future. While any conviction for a crime can affect your livelihood, your opportunities, and your personal life, some charges are more serious than others and carry the potential for negative consequences that will last the rest of your life.
At The Law Office of Christopher A. Lamiero, we work hard to help you understand the nature of the offense and the possible effects a conviction may have on your life. Knowing what you are up against may help you participate more fully in the construction of a strong defense strategy.
Misdemeanors – Minor Crimes Still Carry Major Consequences
Misdemeanors are typically minor crimes that doesn't involve serious injury. They fall into the two groups of standard misdemeanors and aggravated misdemeanors. Standard misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and/or fines of up to $1,000. You may be put on probation in lieu of jail time. Aggravated misdemeanors carry penalties of up to a year in jail and/or fines of $1,000 or more.
You may feel the penalties of a misdemeanor are tolerable and that accepting a plea could just make the whole ordeal go away much faster. However, a conviction for a misdemeanor remains on your record unless you are eligible for the complex expungement process or participate in a diversion program. The better option is to avoid the conviction altogether. An experienced criminal defense attorney can work toward that goal.
Examples of California crimes charged as misdemeanors include:
- Simple drug possession
- DUI (without injury or other aggravating factors)
- Public drunkenness
- Domestic violence
- Restraining order violations
- Driving with a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Disturbing the peace
How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record in California?
In California, misdemeanors remain on your criminal record indefinitely, which means they are accessible to law enforcement agencies, employers, and the public. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible to mitigate the long-term impact of a misdemeanor conviction. One avenue is expungement, a legal process that allows individuals to have their misdemeanor convictions dismissed from their records. After a misdemeanor is dismissed, you are not required to disclose the information to an employer.
You can qualify for a misdemeanor dismissal if you successfully completed your probation sentence along with not serving prison time for your conviction. You cannot qualify for a dismissal if you are currently facing criminal charges or are on probation.
Felonies Can Derail Your Life
Convictions for more serious crimes called felonies carry severe penalties, including longer sentences — perhaps even life — in state prison. These felonies are often violent crimes such as murder, voluntary manslaughter, mayhem, rape, forcible sodomy, arson, hit and run, carjacking, drive-by shooting, or crimes against children. However, they may also be nonviolent crimes that society considers especially heinous, like a fourth DUI within 10 years, white collar crimes, or grand theft.
If you are convicted of a felony, you also lose some of your civil rights such as the right to own a firearm or serve in the armed forces. You may also be disqualified from seeking employment in certain industries and may lose and be barred from professional licenses. For noncitizens, you may face deportation or other immigration consequences. Depending on the offense, you may also have the “three strikes” rule hanging over your head which means increasingly harsh penalties for future convictions.
Never Face Criminal Charges without an Experienced Lawyer
At The Law Office of Christopher A. Lamiero, we focus on defending the rights of the residents of Alameda County and surrounding regions with energy and determination, whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges. When your future and freedom are on the line, it is vital that you have a tried and tested legal advocate working solely to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Whether through negotiation with the prosecutor or by representing you at trial, Attorney Christopher Lamiero will put all of his vast experience and knowledge into your defense.
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Criminal Defense FAQ
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