All offenses in California will be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor.
A felony is considered a serious offense in California. If convicted of a felony, an individual can face anywhere from a year to life in prison.
A misdemeanor is an offense that does not rise to the level of felony. It does not carry a potential prison sentence. The maximum sentence for a misdemeanor is no longer than a year in county jail and fine of $1,000 or more. The majority of individual convicted of misdemeanor offenses will not go to jail.
Some offenses can be both charged or punished as either a felony or misdemeanor, these offenses are called wobblers. Whether an offense is charged as a felony or misdemeanor will depend on the severity of the behavior.
However, in legal terms, there’s a clear difference between assault and battery. Both criminal offenses have separate, distinct elements, although in certain states, these offenses are combined.
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