Whats The Difference?


A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by confinement in a county or city jail or detention facility not to exceed one year. Except where the law specifies a different punishment, a misdemeanor is punishable by confinement in a county jail not exceeding six months and/or a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. However, many misdemeanor offenses list a punishment that exceeds the punishment listed in Penal Code section 19.


A felony, which is a more serious crime than a misdemeanor, can be punished by death or imprisonment in a state prison. A person convicted of a felony can also be granted probation instead of a prison sentence. If a defendant is granted probation, the court can impose numerous conditions on a grant of probation, including up to one year in county jail, cash fines and restitution to the victim for actual losses. Additionally, the court may impose other conditions as long as the conditions are reasonably related to the defendant’s crime, or to future criminality.