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How does an infraction differ from a misdemeanor?

An infraction is a minor offenses which is punishable by a fine only, like most minor traffic violations.  A misdemeanor is any crimes that can result in county jail time, even if jail time is not imposed.  The mere fact that it is punishable by possible local custody makes it misdemeanor.  A felony is any crimes where you could get a state prison commit, even if you get no custody on the case.

Some offenses can be reduced to an infraction thereby making them an extremely minor offense which may then have little or no significant effect on your future employment, licensing, immigration etc.  With infractions, there is no probation and they can be expunged after 1 year.  It may be possible to utilize a reduction to an infraction during plea bargaining to greatly minimize the consequences now and in the future of some misdemeanors like petty theft, disturbing the peace, and many others.  Many background checks may not include "infractions". Also applications for employment  often ask for misdemeanor and felony records, not infractions.

An infraction can be an important consideration and valuable tool in criminal defense depending on the case and circumstances.   It is important for anyone facing a criminal case to discuss their matter, goals etc with a criminal defense lawyer so you can better understand the process, what may be able to be done and how you can be assisted in getting the best resolution for your case.  Christoph Law Offices offers a free initial consultation by calling 760-941-5720.  Located directly across from Vsta Courts for over 34 years, we provide the highest level of personal professional  criminal defense representation.