Articles Posted in Infractions

There is a informal legal term that is used by legal professionals called a “wobbler”. A wobbler is a charge that can be charged as a misdemeanor, felony or an infraction. Essentially, the decision is up to the prosecutor. A wobbler also has room to be changed through negotiation with the prosecutor. This is why it is essential and important to have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer on your team. It ensures that you are fully aware of all strategies and tactics to use to ensure that if there is a possibility to have a charge reduced, it is.

Lets consider an example to better demonstrate how a wobbler works. Danny was helping a friend who was highly intoxicated outside of a bar one night. Danny has an open beer in his hand. Officers charged both Danny and his friend with a misdemeanor drunk and disorderly conduct. Danny has a very clear record, with no prior offenses, charges, or even traffic tickets. Danny was also not being disorderly, although he was intoxicated in front of the bar. Although Danny may meet the elements for a potential charge, his behavior does not give rise to that of a misdemeanor.

Danny hires a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to help argue his case. The attorney goes into court on the first appearance, which is an arraignment. The attorney has over 30 years of experience and is knowledgeable on all elements of various criminal charges, as well as the evidence required to prove those elements. The attorney also knows the prosecutor and the Judge in the courtroom where the case is being heard. The attorney goes into court prepared with evidence, arguments, as well as letters of recommendation from the community for David. He speaks to the prosecutor and presents David’s case. The attorney will argue the shortcomings prosecutor’s will have in evidence, as well as play up the points the attorneys knows the Judge will find noteworthy.

There are three levels of charges when you have been arrested for suspicion of a criminal offense. But first, it is important to understand that just because you have been arrested and charged, does not mean that you have been found guilty or convicted. An arrest and a charge simply means that authorities have reason to believe it is more likely than not, that you are guilty of this crime. But, as the saying goes, you are guilty until proven innocent. After a charge, a jury must find you guilty, or you will have to enter a plea of guilty, before you can be convicted.

If you are convicted, it will be on one of three levels; infraction, misdemeanor, or felony. To understand the different levels and their differences, we will go through some examples.

An infraction is the lowest level of criminal charges. These are minor offenses like running a red light, or making an illegal U-turn. These charges are often without damages to property, or injury to another person. The sentence generally is a fine that needs to be paid. There is no jail time, or probation. If you are to be charged, this is the best possible scenario.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense, whether it be a drinking while intoxicated or a Los Angeles Hit and Run, you will be required to enter a plea. You may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. What the overall consequences are will depend on the type of criminal offense you are being charged for.

  1. Infraction

An infraction is the lowest level of criminal offense. Infractions are comprised of offenses like parking tickets, traffic tickets, public nuisance or disturbing the peace. These charges are very simple and straightforward. Oftentimes they do not require a court appearance, you can pay a fine and have the case closed. The penalty is generally nothing more than a fine. An infraction does not go on your criminal record and you are not required to report it on applications that ask for your criminal history. If you are charged with a criminal offense, this is your best possible outcome.

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, it will be listed as one of three different categories: infraction, misdemeanor or felony. Each level has different consequences and means something different if it remains on your record.

  1. Infractions

Infractions are the lowest level of criminal offenses. This class includes traffic tickets, and small offenses such as littering or jaywalking. Because it is the lowest level of criminal offenses, the potential consequences are low as well. A person who has been found guilty of an infraction will likely just pay a fine. They will not  be required to report it on applications and it will not show up on background searches.