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Key concern in criminal defense: misdemeanor or felony charge?

When it comes to the factors that centrally inform an experienced attorney's criminal defense strategy, many things loom large.

One of them centrally relates to criminal authorities' initial determinations regarding how to proceed with a case. As noted in one online discussion of crime categorization and differentiation, "Prosecutors generally have a great degree of flexibility in deciding what crimes to charge, how to punish them, and what kinds of plea bargains to negotiate."

That open-ended aspect of the criminal justice administration renders it imperative that defense counsel fully understands every aspect of a case and charge and, moreover, takes due account of all the material factors relevant to an individual charged with a crime and needing a strong defense.

We address that imperative in simple and straightforward terms on the Alameda County criminal defense website at The Law Office of John W. Noonan, stressing the importance of knowing that "each individual client's circumstances and background is different."

Indeed, such knowledge is of paramount importance, because a criminal suspect's personal history will figure largely in any prosecutorial assessment of how to charge an alleged offense, especially when it comes to consideration of a misdemeanor versus felony charge, respectively.

The quick bottom line that distinguishes those two categories spotlights the severity in outcome, with felony charges typically carrying harsher criminal consequences than is the case with misdemeanors.

"The difference between the two," we note on our site, "helps shape our client's choice and course of action."

In a given case, we might advise that a plea-bargain outcome is likely to be a preferred strategy. In another matter, it might reasonably seem that aggressively contesting a charge at trial is the best course of action.

Again, every case is different, and every defendant unique.

We closely consider and act upon that reality in every client matter, having brought well-considered and tailored legal representation to those in need for more than 45 years.

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