Felonies vs. Misdemeanors

The legal process differs greatly depending upon whether you were charged with a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction. The definition of a felony means that punishment for the offense is, at a minimum, one year of confinement. Also, traditionally, punishment for felonies meant confinement in state prison, not local county jail. However, due to MAJOR legislative changes in the last decade, many convicted felons now serve their sentences in local jail. It technically counts as prison time, which is why it's often referred to as "local prison."
 
Misdemeanors, by definition, mean any offense where the maximum punishment is 364 days in local jail. Note: That's jail, not prison. You only go to prison (state or "local prison") by committing felonies. 
 
Lastly, infractions are offenses that are punished by fines only; no jail time is permitted. A speeding ticket is the classic example of an infraction.
 

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