Felony Case Defense

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Felony Case Defense Attorney Los Angeles

Charged With A Felony Case? Speak With The Law Offices Of Mariya Melkonyan Today!

You face serious consequences if charged with a felony crime in California. A felony conviction is punishable with jail time, including a life sentence with or without the possibility of parole. In California, you could also face the death penalty if charged with a felony crime.

Hiring the right California felony case defense attorney for your case is critical because of the serious and complex nature of felony crimes. Your future is at stake with the outcome of your case. Mariya Melkonyan understands the felony legal process, and her previous experience as a Deputy District Attorney gives her the knowledge and skills to take on your case. She will work with you to gather evidence and fight for your best outcome.

Felony Case Defense Basics

In California law, a felony is any crime where you can be sentenced to imprisonment for more than one year; it is a more serious crime and carries harsher penalties than misdemeanors. In misdemeanor cases, defendants can only be jailed for up to 1 year.

Under California Penal Code 17, a felony is punishable by death in the most serious cases. Felony convictions also carry fines of up to $10,000. If you’re convicted of a felony, you may face years of jail time, fines, or a combination of the two. Don’t wait, contact Mariya Melkonyan a top felony case defense attorney in Los Angeles.

There are two main types of felony charges in California. You may be charged with a straight felony, or the prosecutor may decide to bring felony charges in a wobbler case.

Table of Contents

    Straight Felonies

    A straight felony is a crime that can only be charged and sentenced as a felony. The crime can never be charged as a misdemeanor or have charges reduced to a misdemeanor offense. In California, most serious crimes are straight felony crimes. Common straight felonies in California include:

    • Murder
    • Rape
    • Robbery
    • First Degree Burglary
    • Sales of controlled substances
    • Vehicle manslaughter with gross negligence
    • Lewd acts with a child under 14

    If charged with a felony, you will face years in jail and fines up to $10,000. These felony crimes count as a strike in California’s Three Strikes Law. You may also face felony probation. Contact Mariya Melkonyan and let her build a solid felony case defense for you.

    Wobbler Felonies

    In California, some crimes, called Wobblers, can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony is up to the prosecutor’s discretion.

    The prosecutor bases their decision on the circumstances and facts of the case and mitigating factors like a defendant’s criminal history.

    Most common California Wobbler felonies include:

    • Vehicular manslaughter
    • Second Degree Burglary
    • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
    • Domestic Violence
    • Forgery
    • Vandalism
    • Sexual Battery
    • Burglary
    • Grand Theft
    • Carrying a loaded firearm in public

    If the prosecutor decides to charge you with a misdemeanor, you can face up to 1 year in county jail. If charged with a felony, you will face up to 3 years in jail.

    Felony Case Sentences

    Felonies carry low, middle, and high prison sentences. Some California state criminal statutes set specific terms for sentencing. For example, the felony charge of first-degree burglary is punishable by the low term of 2 years, the middle term of 4 years, or the high term of 6 years in a state jail.

    If there are no sentencing guidelines in the felony criminal statute, a judge will sentence you to a jail term of 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail. In general, felony offenders in California are sentenced to the middle term. High terms are only handed down when aggravating factors like weapons used in the crime or if the crime is extremely violent.

    Felony Case Probation and Parole

    Judges in California have the option of converting part or all of a felony conviction into a felony or formal probation. Formal probation lets offenders serve out their sentences with the supervision of a probation office instead of in jail. Offenders will have to check in with their probation officer and follow other conditions like drug testing or counseling. If the offender violates probation, they will be sent to jail.

    Recently, Governor Newsom signed AB 1950, a law changing the terms of probation in California. Since January 2021, all felony convictions limit probation to 2 years.

    If you’ve been convicted of a felony in California, you may be eligible for parole. Parole laws only apply when you’re sentenced to state prison and have completed your sentence or been granted early release.

    Most Common Felonies in California

    Statewide, violent crimes make up 37% and the biggest share of felony arrests. California’s most common violent crime arrests are assaults at 75%, followed by robbery at 14%. Other violent crimes such as kidnapping, rape, and homicide account for 3% or less of felony arrests in California.

    Property crimes like theft, burglary, and vehicle theft account for 19% of all felony arrests in the state. The remainder of felony arrests is for drug charges and warrants.

    Consequences of a Felony Case Conviction

    A felony case conviction not only affects your jail time but your quality of life, including your employment and civil rights.

    Lack of Employment Opportunities

    Applicants in California must disclose certain convictions, including felonies. Those who do not comply may not be hired or may be fired by the employer later on. An employer has every right to decline your application based on a prior conviction, but if they do so, this may violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as they could base their rejection on stereotyped thinking and on race and/or gender.

    A felony conviction can be a barrier to getting a professional license, but only if it is tied to your job responsibilities. A nurse or a real estate agent could have their licenses revoked if they had prior felonies. A criminal conviction on the federal level can lead to losing a license, such as one for customs brokers or an export permit.

    Loss of Civil Rights From a Felony Case Conviction

    In California, unless the judge has placed you under probation with an order that your term of imprisonment is one year or less in county jail, then you will lose your eligibility to vote if you have a felony conviction or are on parole. You cannot vote if you are still serving your sentence at the time of an election because of California’s Realignment law.

    Travel Restrictions

    The majority of criminal sentences are supervised at all times, requiring the parolee to obtain permission from their officer before traveling over 50 miles from their home. They must also get a travel pass from their parole officer if they plan to travel outside their county of residence for more than two days.

    If you have been convicted of a felony drug charge, not only can it prohibit you from getting your passport, but previously issued passports may also be canceled. Many countries, including Canada and Australia, restrict those with a criminal history from entering without the proper documentation.

    Why You Need a Felony Case Defense Attorney

    If you have been charged with a felony case in California, it is important to understand how the law works and what rights you are entitled to. The penalties and consequences can be severe, and a skilled lawyer can help you through the legal process.

    Access to Legal Guidance

    When dealing with a felony case, it is important to work with an experienced felony criminal defense attorney who understands the nuances of local laws. They can answer questions about the legal process, from the charges filed to how to dress and present yourself in court.

    Many lawyers understand that going through the legal process can be stressful and complex for people facing charges on a felony case. Choosing to work with Mariya Melkonyan will give you peace of mind, knowing that a seasoned legal professional is handling your case. Searching for a top federal criminal lawyer near me on Google; simply call our office and schedule a free consultation.

    Create Legal Defense Strategies For a Felony Case

    An experienced felony case defense attorney can help build a solid defense for your case while keeping your best interests in mind at all times. Depending on the charges and the details of your case, they can negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf for less time served in jail if you plead guilty or craft a defense to support a not-guilty plea.

    Gather Evidence on Your Behalf

    They can gather the evidence and witness statements needed to provide testimony for your case. Witnesses may feel uncomfortable talking with a felony case defense lawyer at first, but a compassionate criminal defense attorney can put them at ease and ask insightful questions that get the necessary information for your felony case.

    Reach Out to Our Felony Case Defense Lawyers

    If you face charges on a felony case, then you must speak with an attorney as soon as possible. The Melkonyan Firm offers a free consultation to help people make informed decisions about their legal options and what they can expect from the California criminal justice system when it comes to felony case convictions. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.

    Felony Case Defense Attorney Los Angeles

    Frequently Asked Questions

    In some cases, your felony case may be reduced to a misdemeanor. This depends on a couple of factors. Under California law, you can reduce your felony if you were charged with a wobbler felony and were sentenced to felony probation, and completed the terms. A defense attorney can help you with your case.


    Yes, if you are convicted of a violent or serious felony under California PC 667.5 or PC 1192.7(c), it counts as a strike on your record. Violent felonies include murder or voluntary manslaughter, kidnapping, rape, arson, and carjacking. Serious crimes include any felony where you use a firearm like a robbery, first-degree burglary, grand theft, or the sale of illegal drugs to minors.


    If you worked for a public employer or an elected official starting on or after January 1, 2013, and you committed a felony during your employment, you are ineligible for pension benefits.

    This law applies if the felony was committed while performing your work duties, receiving benefits such as disability or service retirement, or running for office. It also applies if the felony committed during your work duties involved a child.


    If you are not a U.S. citizen, you can be deported or barred from entering the U.S. based on your criminal record. Deportation can occur due to several crimes, including aggravated felonies such as rape or murder and multiple offenses with sentences of 5 years or less.


    Felonies & Weapons Crimes Defense Law Firm

    Felonies and other crimes that include weapons charges can be extremely stressful and serious when you don’t have the right defense team on your side. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles for your case. At The Law Offices of Mariya Melkonyan, we always have our client’s best interest at heart.

    From the moment you contact us for a consultation, we start planning solid defenses for your case. Most clients feel ashamed, frustrated, and angry after being charged with a felony, but our legal team is here to reiterate that you, as a citizen, have basic rights, one of which is to hire an attorney. Before you speak to authorities, remember that you do not have to answer any questions without a lawyer present.

    Mariya Melkonyan is a former prosecutor who has tirelessly fought countless felony cases and can apply those same skill sets in your case. Contact her office for a free case evaluation today.


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