San Francisco Misdemeanor Defense
A misdemeanor criminal charge is in the lower category of criminal offenses which are considered to be more serious than a civil or traffic citation but less serious than a felony criminal charge. This includes charges like DUI or domestic violence. Since these are considered to be less serious crimes, they also tend to be associated with less serious penalties. In most cases, the only real difference between a felony criminal charge and a misdemeanor criminal charge is that a misdemeanor is only punishable by a sentence of up to one year in county jail, rather than time served in a federal prison.
Criminal penalties for a misdemeanor crime can involve any combination of jail time, costly criminal fines, and/or probation. The legal consequences of a criminal misdemeanor charge is also much more tailored to the exact details of the specific crime involved. For example, if you are convicted of misdemeanor vandalism, your sentence might include being required to perform clean up and repairs to community buildings or write a genuine letter of apology to the owner of the property you were convicted of vandalizing. Misdemeanor penalties for DUI can often involve completing a mandatory DUI class or a course of substance abuse treatment.
The fact that a misdemeanor criminal charge is not legally considered to be as serious as a felony criminal charge does not in any sense mean that you do not need legal representation. Any conviction on your criminal record will have a very serious impact on the rest of your life. Your constitutional rights should be fiercely protected by a San Francisco criminal defense attorney.
A driving under the influence (DUI) charge is what can happen when a person is found to be operating a motor vehicle while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under the influence means that they have a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08. When the person who is driving is a minor or a holder of a CDL, the legal alcohol limit is even lower. In California, if convicted, you could be required to pay fines as high as $2,000. On top of that, you could serve two days in jail. Often, this jail sentence is substituted for community service. Your punishment will also incorporate the completion of a mandatory alcohol awareness course. This course can take months to complete.
While it is technically only a misdemeanor conviction, a DUI on your criminal record can take a serious toll on your future, especially if you are a professional driver. Don’t underestimate the importance of having a competent DUI attorney on your side in San Francisco, CA, to fight for the possible reduction or even the dismissal of your charges.
Jonah Chew, Attorney at Law, accepts cases involving all types of criminal matters. Call today to get 25 years of experience on your side!