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Why is Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor Important?

Why is Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor Important?

There are significant differences between facing the repercussions of a felony and a misdemeanor charge. Most times, having a felony reduced to a misdemeanor level will mean you can secure more employment opportunities, reduce time with a probation officer, have your rights to own a gun restored, and much more. Therefore, when possible, you always want to have your felony reduced to the misdemeanor level. Read on to learn more:

Infographic detailing 7 ways reducing a felony to a misdemeanor can impact your life in California.

The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony Charge in California

  • Misdemeanor: In California, a misdemeanor crime isn’t given specific letter classifications like in other states. California misdemeanors are categorized by penal code guidelines to determine proper sentencing. A misdemeanor crime will involve no more than a year of jail time in a county jail and a fine of at most $1,000. A misdemeanor crime can be escalated to a felony in some cases.
  • Felony: A felony crime is a more serious offense than a misdemeanor crime. Depending on the type of felony, if you are charged and convicted in California, you could face up to life in prison or even capital punishment. This type of punishment usually involves substantial crimes like first degree murder. While other states have a set range of punishments per felony, judges in California will rule on a case-by-case basis and issue either low, mid, or high term sentences.

The Best-Case Scenario is a Wobbler Crime

Some felony charges are more apt to be reduced to misdemeanors than others. This is often referred to as a wobbler felony. This means it is a crime that could be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, and it’s basically wobbling between the two, hence the name. When you commit a wobbler crime, you can often have your felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor. While the exhaustive list won’t fit here, you can contact us for a complete list of wobbler crimes to see if your crime qualifies. Grand theft, burglary, and spousal battery are just a few examples of common wobblers.

How to Reduce Your Felony to a Misdemeanor

There are certain specifics you have to meet to qualify to have your felony reduced in severity. First of all, as mentioned above, your crime must be classified as a wobbler charge. Also, you have to have been granted probation. Per California law, a judge can reduce your felony after your preliminary hearing. You can also request the judge to reduce the classification of your crime at the time of your sentencing. If you are already on probation for a wobbler crime, you can petition the court to change your crime to a misdemeanor and allow you to terminate probation early. Before you seek a reduction in crime severity, though, it is imperative that you have completed all the terms of your probation including payment of restitution and fines and that you have not committed any additional criminal offenses.

Contact us Today

A felony conviction has a much more lasting impact on your life than a misdemeanor, so it is imperative that you seek aggressive legal representation that will fight to reduce your wobbler charge. Contact Premier Criminal Defense today at (619) 439-0252 to determine if it is possible to have your charges reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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