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Orange County Bar Association

Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Read About the Criminal Charges You Face

Criminal Charges come in three types: Infractions are the least serious and are most commonly seen in traffic matters like Speeding or Running a red light. The most punishment you can get with an infraction is a fine.

Misdemeanors in California refer to any crime where you can spend a year or less in jail. Most people charged with a misdemeanor never do ANY jail time but there is always the potential to do up to 1 year although that rarely occurs. Common misdemeanors are Driving Under the Influence, Driving on a suspended license and Domestic Violence. Notably, some misdemeanors can also be charged as felonies like Drunk Driving and Domestic Violence. Charges that can be either a misdemeanor or a felony are called “wobblers”. The severity of a case determines whether a wobbler is filed as a felony or a misdemeanor. For example, if a Drunk Driving Case involves significant injuries to the victim it can be filed as a felony; or if the victim in a Domestic Violence case is significantly injured then that charge can also be filed as a felony.

Felonies are the most serious offenses and can carry years of prison as a sentence or even a life sentence. The most common felony crimes are Sales of a Controlled Substance, Assault with a Deadly Weapon or Assault with Great Bodily Injury/Force Likely, Gang Offenses and Child Sex Offenses.

California also has the “Three Strikes Law”. This is a sentencing law wherein the Judge’s discretion is taken away. If you commit a new violent crime and you have a prior record of at least two violent crimes, you can be automatically sentenced up to life in prison. Even with only one prior conviction you can receive a doubling of the normal sentence if the prior crime and the new crime are violent. Fortunately, the law has evolved in the three strike area and now Judges have the freedom to “strike a strike” so as not to cause an unduly harsh sentence. However, Judges will generally only do that in extraordinary situations.

The description above is a very broad overview of criminal charges in California. Consult with Mr. Bruzzo directly on your specific charges for free. Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo (714) 547-4636.

Criminal Law Information:

These links are provided to help you find more information about the specific criminal charges you are facing:

If you can not find the penal code, vehicle code, uniform code of military justice or health and safety code you are looking for – please contact William Bruzzo at (714) 547-4636 or Online help request.

Client Reviews

“I was pulled over for not having license plates on my car. The reason for that was because it was new. When the Officer pulled me over, he claims to have smelled marijuana and he began to ask me questions. I admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the...


“I was arrested and charged with Penal Code Section 273.5(a) [Domestic Violence with Traumatic Injury]. Unfortunately, some of my actions were caught on video. In addition, an infant was present during the incident. My family hired Attorney Will Bruzzo to...


“I was charged with two counts of Vehicle Code 23109.1 [Engaging in a Speed Contest Causing Specified Injury] as a felony; two counts of Vehicle Code 23105(a) [Reckless Driving Causing Specified Injury], one count of Penal Code Section 368(b)(1) [Elder and...


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