When a crime includes serious injury or damage to person or property, it will be filed as a felony. A felony is the highest level an offense may be charged, and will warrant the most severe consequences.
Many cases are filed as either misdemeanors, or felonies. This decision is made by the prosecutor after reviewing the person’s criminal record and the specific facts of the case. The most ideal for a person charged with a felony would be to prepare a powerful argument and strong defenses through a Los Angeles DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney so that the case is filed as a misdemeanor. While a misdemeanor is as serious offense, it is still a level below a felony charge.
To determine the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony, the court will study the facts and the background of the person being tried. For example, let’s say person A has one drug offense conviction and is charged with aggravated assault. The person assaulted has some bruises and minor pain but nothing internal or serious. The case has a chance of being charged as a misdemeanor if a skilled DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney can prepare a strong argument minimizing the injuries and downplaying the previous criminal record. In contrast, person A has no criminal record and is also being charged with aggravated assault. However, in this situation the person assaulted has suffered some broken bones and internal injuries. Person B is likely to be tried as a felony case because of the severity of injuries sustained by the person assaulted.
When someone is charged with a criminal offense, it is either filed as an infraction, misdemeanor or a felony. Many offenses can be filed as any of the three depending on the specific criminal code section it is being charged under. Such sections of the criminal code are referred to as wobblers. For example, a petty theft charge is a wobbler, and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.
Wobblers are up to the Prosecution’s discretion and may be charged as an infraction, misdemeanor or felony after several factors have been taken into consideration. To determine which it will be charged as, prosecutors look into the specific facts of the case as well as the criminal record of the person. Criminal offenses may be charged as either an infraction, misdemeanor or felony. The prosecutor’s determine the final charge after a consideration of the person’s criminal history and the specific facts of the case. Sections of the criminal code that have the autonomy of being charged as either an infraction, misdemeanor or felony are referred to as wobblers.