Felonies are serious crimes that can carry lifetime consequences. They can be non-serious, serious or violent. Most felonies have a triad sentencing scheme in which a person convicted can receive a low term of typically 16 months, a middle term of typically 2 years, or an upper term of typically 3 years of possible confinement. Naturally, the more serious or violent the felony is, the higher the sentencing triad is. Some felonies carry life sentences. 

Most non-serious and non-violent felons are sentenced to a term of felony probation, which is typically three years, but could be up to four or five. Additionally, they may be supervised by a probation officer and have various terms of probation that they must abide by. One of those terms might be up to 1 year of jail time in the County Jail.  Although all felons used to be eligible to serve their triad sentences in State Prison, recent changes by the California Legislature and the voters through ballot propositions, have made most felonies punishable by confinement only in the County Jail. 

Anyone convicted of a felony and ordered to serve a term in jail or prison is entitled to good time/work time credits. These credits are usually fifty percent credits. That means that a person sentenced to serve one year in county jail, will usually only have to serve an actual six months. Those convicted of violent crimes or who have certain types of prior convictions are entitled to fewer credits. Again though, recent changes by the California Legislature and voters through ballot propositions, have given possible additional credits to those who have been convicted of crimes in which most people would consider serious or violent. Thus, it is not unusual now for a convicted felon who has been sentenced to State Prison, to be released after serving far less time than he/she was sentenced to.

The California State Constitution ensures that victims of crime have the right to be present at all proceedings if they wish, and to address that court at critical stages of the proceedings and sentencing. Victims are entitled to restitution for losses suffered as a result of felonious conduct. Our prosecutors take the rights of victims seriously and encourage active involvement by victims of crime.  

The Merced County District Attorney's Office places great emphasis on the prosecution of felony crime. Most of our prosecutors, in both the Merced and Los Banos office are assigned to prosecute felony cases. This office also has specialized units which handle specific types of felony crimes. These can be child molest cases, adult sexual assault cases, and gang cases. Our felony prosecutors are dedicated to protecting the citizens of Merced County by seeking justice and protecting crime victims.