What Is The Difference Between A Felony And A Misdemeanor?

Most people who are facing criminal charges are going through the process for the first time. They may not understand the difference between felonies versus misdemeanors. This lack of understanding can lead to people failing to take the action they should.

You need to have a full understanding of the nature of the criminal charges you are facing if you want to be able to aid in your defense.


Everyone can make a mistake and find themselves facing criminal charges. Charges such as DUI and other charges of similar severity will be filed as misdemeanors typically. Misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to a year in jail along with other consequences.


More serious crimes are charged as felonies. The main distinguishing factor is that a felony carries a sentence of a year and a day or more that will be served in prison rather than a local jail. Other consequences include:

  • Loss of ability to possess firearms
  • Loss of voting rights

Another major factor is the fact that felonies cost more to fight due to the complexity of the investigations. Also, a person may be facing federal charges as opposed to state felony charges.

Are There Any Types Of Charges That Could Be Either?

There are a few types of criminal charges that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Grand theft and domestic violence fall into this category. In these cases it is important to work for the lesser charge.

A Former Prosecutor With More Than 30 Years Of Experience

I am attorney David S. Kestenbaum. I want my clients to know that I am going to be with them throughout the entire process of fighting their charges. I will work to educate them and ensure they understand everything that is happening. It is your life, and I want you to be able to make informed choices about your case. I am a former Van Nuys prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience. I know how to build a strong defense and how to help you through what you are facing.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Van Nuys And Throughout Southern California

For a highly effective defense against theft charges, turn to Kestenbaum Law Group. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 818-616-8264, or contact me online.