Most violent crimes are classified as felonies. There are a couple of misdemeanors, such as simple battery, which is the unlawful use of force against another person. When it is pushing or shoving, or throwing something at someone, it could be a misdemeanor. It depends on the level of force used. From there up, there are misdemeanors and there are what are called felonies. It’s mostly what you think of violent crimes, including assault with a deadly weapon and sex crimes. California has a specific category for serious and violent charges such as robbery and carjacking.
There are some really serious crimes like mayhem, which is disfiguring another person, or torture – which would be a felony. Then there are what are called wobblers. These are “Alternative Felonies” which means they can be charged and prosecuted either as felonies or as misdemeanors. The DA can also start it off as a felony and it can later be reduced to a misdemeanor. Some common wobblers are PC 245(a)(1) (assault with a deadly weapon), PC 273.5 (corporal injury), PC 243.4 (sexual battery), VC 2800.2 (evading police).