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State crimes are any infraction of the state legal code. This covers a broad range of crimes, from things like robbery and assault to stalking, drug trafficking, or homicide. The experienced criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong are here to help you defend against these and other types of crimes. Here are some examples of state crimes:


  • Robbery
  • Burglary
  • Aggravated assault
  • Weapons offenses
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual battery
  • Homicide
  • Drunk driving
  • White collar crime
  • Drug Charges
  • Domestic violence
  • Fraud
  • Organized crime


Generally, there are two broad types of state crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is considered less serious than a felony, but can still carry a significant fine or possible jail time. Some common misdemeanor state crimes include such things as trespass, vandalism, or disorderly conduct.

Misdemeanor State Crimes


Misdemeanors under California law fall into two basic categories:


  • Standard California misdemeanors, with punishment of up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,100


  • Gross or aggravated misdemeanors, with punishment of up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 or more


Also, in California, certain crimes are “wobbler” offenses, which allow the State’s Attorney to charge a defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony.



Felony State Crimes


Felonies are more serious state crimes, most often because they involve violence. The penalties, including imprisonment and fines, are more severe. In California, a felony is a crime that carries a maximum sentence of more than one year in prison. If convicted of a felony in California, you could be fined in addition to imprisonment.

There are few things more serious than being arrested and charged with a state crime. You could be sentenced to prison, forced to pay steep fines, and subject to years of government supervision while on probation.

You Need the Best Legal Defense


What is important to understand about state crimes is that for each charge the State’s Attorney must prove specific elements of the crime in order to gain a conviction. These elements are often difficult to prove and open to challenge by your defense attorney. If you are charged with a state crime, it is important to have excellent attorneys to represent you. The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong are experienced defenders with a well-earned reputation for aggressive criminal defense.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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