Orange County Misdemeanor Lawyer

Orange County Misdemeanor Lawyer

Facing misdemeanor charges in Orange County can be scary. Even though misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, they can still carry jail time and fines. Having an experienced misdemeanor lawyer on your side makes all the difference.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about misdemeanors in Orange County. We’ll cover:

  • What is a misdemeanor?
  • Common misdemeanors charged in OC
  • Penalties for misdemeanor convictions
  • How a lawyer can help fight the charges
  • Finding the right misdemeanor attorney for your case

What is a Misdemeanor?

A misdemeanor is a minor criminal offense. It is less serious than a felony charge.

Under California law, misdemeanors are punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Probation

Misdemeanors are handled in misdemeanor or municipal courts. Felonies go through superior courts.

Some common examples of misdemeanor charges in California include:

  • DUI
  • Petty theft
  • Simple assault or battery
  • Possession of small amounts of drugs
  • Minor vandalism
  • Trespassing

Many misdemeanors are “wobblers.” This means the prosecutor can choose to charge them as misdemeanors or felonies.

Common Orange County Misdemeanors

Some of the most common misdemeanors charged in Orange County include:

DUI Misdemeanor

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a misdemeanor if it’s your first or second offense in 10 years. Penalties include:

  • Up to 6 months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,000
  • Driver’s license suspension

DUI charges have complex defenses. An experienced DUI lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed.

Petty Theft Misdemeanor

Petty theft under $950 is a misdemeanor in California. Common petty theft charges include:

  • Shoplifting
  • Stealing a bicycle
  • Taking packages from porches

Defenses like mistaken identity and lack of proof can beat petty theft charges.

Drug Possession Misdemeanors

Possession of small amounts of drugs like:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Prescription pills

is a misdemeanor in California. You may be able to avoid charges through drug counseling programs.

Assault and Battery Misdemeanors

Simple assault and battery charges are misdemeanors. More serious assault charges become felonies.

Self-defense, mistaken identity, and mental health defenses can often beat these types of charges.

Resisting Arrest and Public Intoxication

Resisting arrest and public drunkenness charges are common California misdemeanors.

With smart legal defenses, these charges can often be reduced or dismissed.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Convictions

The maximum misdemeanor sentence is 1 year in county jail. But many carry lighter sentences like:

  • 1-6 months in jail
  • Probation
  • Community service
  • Fines from $100-$1,000

Misdemeanors still create criminal records. They can impact your job, education, and immigration status.

That’s why fighting misdemeanor charges is so important. An experienced misdemeanor lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed.

How a Lawyer Can Help Fight Misdemeanor Charges

The prosecutor must prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” An attorney can poke holes in the prosecution’s case by using legal defenses.

Some examples of how lawyers beat misdemeanor charges:

  • Suppressing evidence illegally obtained by police
  • Discrediting witnesses through cross-examination
  • Proving self-defense against assault charges
  • Fighting breathalyzer results in DUI cases
  • Seeking mental health diversions for applicable charges

In many cases, the lawyer negotiates with the prosecutor to get charges:

  • Reduced to infractions
  • Dismissed entirely
  • Plea bargained to lighter sentences

Misdemeanor lawyers know how to navigate the local courts and prosecutors. Their relationships can lead to better outcomes.

Finding the Right Misdemeanor Lawyer in OC

With so much on the line, it’s critical to have the right lawyer for your misdemeanor case. Look for a lawyer who:

  • Focuses specifically on misdemeanor defense
  • Has extensive trial experience
  • Is familiar with local courts, judges, and prosecutors
  • Has a track record of success beating similar charges
  • Makes you feel comfortable and well-represented

Michael Guisti is a top-rated misdemeanor lawyer in Orange County. For over 20 years, he has achieved outstanding results for clients facing misdemeanor charges.

Free consultations allow you to discuss your case details and decide if the lawyer is the right fit. It’s important to understand all your options and legal rights before moving forward.

Don’t take chances with your future. The consequences of misdemeanor convictions can follow you for life. An expert OC misdemeanor lawyer levels the playing field against the prosecution. They can help you avoid a devastating criminal record.