Riverside Misdemeanor Lawyer

The legal system recognizes that not all crimes are equally severe, and the tiered classification of offenses may give the impression that a misdemeanor is a minor inconvenience rather than a life-altering event. While it’s certainly true that a misdemeanor carries fewer and less severe penalties than a felony charge, facing one still has the potential to cause serious disruptions at high costs — financial, social, and otherwise.

If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor in Riverside, finding a misdemeanor attorney who is experienced in these kinds of cases can help you smooth out the process with minimal disruptions to your life.

Arrested Or Charged With A Misdemeanor In Riverside?

We have a complex set of statutes that are designed to serve multiple purposes. In the case of serious offenses, the punishment for the crime is often about removing the offender from a situation in which they can offend again in the future. That’s not necessarily the case with misdemeanors. The courts recognize that many crimes are not as harmful to society at large, but they still serve as a threat or nuisance. Because of this, those committing these lesser offenses may face criminal penalties in order to deter them from committing the act again in the future.

Top-Rated Riverside Misdemeanor Lawyer

Common Misdemeanor Charges In Riverside

What kind of charges are considered misdemeanors in Riverside? The category is a broad one that encompasses a wide range of offenses. Many of them involve a crime without any immediate harm to a victim. Some of the most common misdemeanor charges include the following:

  • Possession of an illegal substance
  • Public intoxication
  • Driving under the influence (DUI)
  • Petty theft or shoplifting
  • Reckless driving
  • Disorderly conduct

Other misdemeanor charges do involve direct harm to someone else but may not rise to the designation of a felony. These charges include the following:

Some misdemeanor charges are associated with violating conditions placed due to a previous altercation with the law. These misdemeanor charges include the following:

  • Driving with suspended license
  • Violation of probation

As you can see from the above lists, misdemeanors are not limited to a single type of criminal activity. Individuals facing misdemeanor charges may be well-versed in the criminal justice system with previous experience facing charges or may be looking at a charge for the very first time. Regardless, a misdemeanor charge has the potential to cause serious disruptions to your life.

Possible Penalties For Misdemeanors In Riverside

The biggest difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is in the penalties assigned for each. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, you may face a range of penalties. These are defined in Code 19 of the California Penal Code. According to this code, those facing a misdemeanor may be sentenced to the following:

  • Up to six months in jail
  • Up to $1000 in fines

In addition, if the harm caused is severe, a District Attorney may decide to charge as a felony instead of a misdemeanor. These are referred to as “wobblers” and have the potential to hold much more severe penalties. These offenses may include steeper fines and longer jail or prison sentences. The District Attorney’s decision on whether to move forward with a felony or misdemeanor is based on a contextualized picture of the crime that includes the defendant’s past criminal activity and the severity of the harm done to any victims.

Don’t let one wrong decision impact your life, job or freedom.

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When Do I Need To Call Misdemeanor Attorney?

If you are facing a criminal misdemeanor charge in Riverside, don’t delay in contacting a misdemeanor attorney. It may seem like a minor offense that you can handle on your own, but even a few months of incarceration has the potential to cause major disruptions to your life. When you consider the time missed from work and family responsibilities, you’ll see that this relatively short sentence presents serious consequences.

A criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling misdemeanor cases can give you guidance on what steps to take to first defend your case. It’s possible that a strong defense could mean you face no charges at all — especially if there were procedural missteps involved in the case. Even if you do end up being found guilty of the misdemeanor offense, an attorney can help reduce your sentence and ensure minimal disruptions to your life.

Riverside Misdemeanor Lawyer Near You

Reach out today to talk to someone about your case. The stress and uncertainty looming over an upcoming court appearance can be greatly reduced with the assistance of an attorney who understands the system and the charges you’re facing. Get a chance to talk over the details of your case with someone who understands what the court will be looking for and how to best mount a defense against the charges. A misdemeanor lawyer will help examine the evidence against you and prepare you for what’s coming next.


Our Process


  • Arrest


    The accused is taken into custody. Police will ask basic discovery questions like name and address to identify a person, then pivot to more specific questions related to the incident.

  • Reading Your

    Reading Your

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court.

  • Booking


    The police will take you in for booking — Police will fingerprint you and get and updated photograph for their records. After, you’ll be given a chance to contact your criminal defense lawyer.

  • Arraignment


    The arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you’re going to plea. If you plead guilty, the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, your attorney will prepare for trial.

  • Discovery


    In the discovery stage, you’ll get to see exactly what evidence the prosecution has against you. This is when your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be and strengthen your defense.

  • Plea Bargaining

    Plea Bargaining

    Accepting the plea bargain is the last chance to plead guilty before the trial. Reduced charges may be presented to quickly settle the case and avoid trial.

  • Trial


    The prosecutor presents the case to the jury. Any evidence or witness statements are shared at at this time. Afterward, it’s your lawyers turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. The jury will make a final verdict.

  • Sentencing


    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you were found guilty of. Decisions are based on the advised penalties for the specific charges in question.

Possible Penalties For A Criminal Conviction

Jail or Prison Time

Substantial Fines

Lengthy Probation

License Suspension

Mandatory Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth getting a lawyer for a misdemeanor?

Some people worry that the cost of a lawyer will outweigh the fines and penalties of a misdemeanor offense. However, the costs of a criminal charge are more complicated than they might seem. Jail time has the potential to cause lost wages and strained relationships. A criminal charge can remain on your record and cause missed opportunities in the future. The true cost of a misdemeanor may be much higher than it initially appears, and getting a lawyer will help you minimize these costs.

Does a misdemeanor ruin your life?

A misdemeanor is less severe than a felony, but it does have the potential to be highly disruptive. You don’t have to let a misdemeanor ruin your life, but you should explore all of your options to make sure you are doing all you can to minimize the disruptions and costs.

Depending on your legal status, it may make you deportable or excludable, and it may affect any future attempts of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the United States.

How serious is a misdemeanor charge?

A misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony, but it is still a criminal charge that carries weight both in terms of penalties and your criminal record. 

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