There are few legal situations more daunting than those involving criminal charges. The potential for jail time or serious, lifelong consequences is high for any California criminal charge. Whether the charge is a DUI or a more serious violent crime, having skilled representation is often the key to receiving a fair deal, or having the charges reduced or dismissed. At the Law Offices of Thomas R. Chapin, we are experienced at defending clients in a range of criminal matters. We offer reasonable rates and high-quality legal advocacy to obtain the best possible result for our clients.
Felonies versus misdemeanors
In California, crimes are broken down into two basic categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious crimes, often involving either violence against other people or a high degree of other types of harm, such as fraud. A person can also be charged with a felony offense for repeat offenses of a less serious crime. The potential punishment for a felony charge is anywhere from a year in prison to a life sentence or even death. In contrast, misdemeanor cases tend to be for less serious crimes, such as shoplifting. The punishment for a misdemeanor is typically a year or less in jail.