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According to California law, some crimes can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, under certain circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you argue your case.

Under California Penal Code, when a crime is punishable, it is a misdemeanor if –

  • the judge sentences the person charged with a crime of a punishment other than imprisonment in county jail or state prison
  • the person charged with a crime is committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice by the court and their offense is designated as a misdemeanor
  • the person charged with a crime is granted probation by the court, and isn’t sentenced to prison or jail
  • the prosecuting attorney files a complaint with the court stating that the offense should be classified as a misdemeanor
  • the magistrate determines that the offense should be classified as a misdemeanor

If you have been charged with a crime in California, it is best to hire a legal expert. Your criminal defense lawyer understands what is needed to secure the verdict you need and the knowledge and experience you need to get a favorable verdict.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong

Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm, the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, in June 2007. Prior to that, he was employed as the senior associate attorney for a large criminal defense firm in San Diego for nine years, eventually being placed in charge of that firm’s branch office in downtown San Diego. At one point, he was managing six attorneys at that firm, as well as several support staff and law clerks. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys. In 2017, he was also selected for the Super Lawyers Top 50 in San Diego list. In 2014, he was selected as a Top Attorney by Los Angeles Magazine. Additionally, Mr. Armstrong was also named as a Top Attorney by the San Diego Business Journal in 2014.

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