Felony Reduction in San Diego
In California, a wobbler is a criminal offense that the prosecution has the choice to charge as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony convictions have serious consequences that will impact every aspect of your life, even after you serve your sentence. A convicted felon will lose the right to own a firearm, to vote, to serve on a jury, may have a professional license revoked, and when applying for a job will have to disclose the felony conviction to any potential employer. Living with a felony conviction constantly hanging over your head is no life at all. If the offense you committed was a wobbler and you were convicted of a felony, with the right legal representation, you may be able to avoid these consequences and reduce your conviction to a misdemeanor. At Monder Law Group, we are well versed in the complexities of wobbler offenses and have vast experience obtaining felony reductions at preliminary hearings, sentencing, upon early termination of probation, and prior to expungements. Take this opportunity to have your rights restored by giving us a call today at (619)405-0063 so we may discuss what relief options are available to you.
Understanding Penal Code Section 17(b)
In San Diego, the reduction of a felony conviction to a misdemeanor in wobbler offenses is governed by Penal Code Section 17(b), the law is clear that a person who has been convicted of a felony can have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor when the underlying offense is considered a wobbler offense that could have been charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor and for which the defendant was sentenced to felony probation and completed probation.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor
In the criminal justice system, there are two different categories of offenses, felonies and misdemeanors. Which category the prosecution charges you under will depend on the nature of the offense and the punishment associated with the offense. A felony is characterized as a serious criminal offense that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in state prison, a fine, or both. Whereas a misdemeanor is considered a lesser criminal offense and is punishable by imprisonment in county jail instead of a state jail, a fine, or both.
Who is eligible for a felony reduction?
In order to petition the court to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, you must have been convicted of a felony for a wobbler offense and either sentenced to imprisonment in county jail as a condition of probation or sentenced to felony probation and have completed probation. It is important to note that if at sentencing, you were convicted of multiple felonies, they all must meet these requirements for you to be eligible for felony reduction.
Who is not eligible for a felony reduction?
You are not eligible for a reduction of a felony conviction to a misdemeanor if you were convicted of a straight felony or were sentenced to imprisonment in state prison.
Wobbler Felonies vs. Straight Felonies
In California, a wobbler is a criminal offense that the prosecution has a choice to file as either a felony or a misdemeanor. In making the decision under which category to charge, the prosecution will consider the nature of the offense, the alleged victim, the defendant’s criminal history, and the underlying facts of the case. At sentencing, the court will make the same considerations to decide what degree of punishment to apply. On the other hand, a straight felony is a criminal offense that can only be prosecuted and sentenced as a felony and may not be reduced to a misdemeanor.
What are examples of wobbler offenses?
- Battery Against a Peace Officer
- Grand Theft
- Sexual Battery
- Spousal Battery
- Vehicular Manslaughter Without Gross Negligence
What are examples of straight felony offenses?
- First Degree Burglary
- Oral Copulation by Force
- Possession of a Controlled Substance for Sale
- Rape with Force
Felony Reduction Petition
A felony reduction petition allows a convicted felon of a wobbler offense to request the court to have the wobbler felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor. In making its determination, the court will consider the nature of the offense, the underlying facts of the case, the defendant’s criminal history, successful completion of probation, and personal circumstances that support the request for reduction.
When can a felony reduction be petitioned?
You may petition the court to reduce your wobbler felony to a misdemeanor as early as your preliminary hearing, at your sentencing hearing, upon successful completion of probation, or before obtaining an expungement.
What information is required to apply for an felony reduction?
In order to complete a felony reduction petition, the following information will be required for each felony wobbler conviction:
- The case number;
- The date of conviction;
- The code name and section number of the offense;
- Whether the court sentenced defendant to county jail;
- Whether the court ordered probation;
- What was the probationary period;
- Whether the court ordered fines, restitution, or reimbursement be paid; and
- The terms of probation that have been successfully completed.
Why file a petition for felony reduction before an expungement?
For expungement purposes, you should reduce your felony wobbler conviction to a misdemeanor and then submit the expungement petition for the misdemeanor offense. Otherwise, if you file for expungement before petitioning the court for a felony reduction, you will have waived your right to request a felony reduction. However, it is important to note that both petitions for a felony reduction and an expungement may be filed at the same time for maximum relief. If you can have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor, obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation will be more likely and easy.
What does a felony reduction not accomplish?
If the wobbler offense you were convicted of required sex offender registration under California Penal Code 290, a felony reduction to a misdemeanor will not excuse you of compliance with registration requirements. Likewise, if the wobbler offense you were convicted of constituted a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law, it will still be considered a strike offense after the felony reduction to a misdemeanor.
Felony Reduction Criminal Lawyer in San Diego
If you have been convicted of a wobbler offense and would like to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor, you need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney with experience petitioning felony reductions. At Monder Law Group, we have extensive knowledge and years of experience successfully handling felony reduction cases in San Diego. Our team of experts consists of legal analysts whose sole purpose is to review your family, professional, economic and social history to obtain the necessary supporting documentation for your felony reduction motion. At the felony reduction hearing, attorney Monder will identify the personal circumstances in your case and explain their significance to the court to ensure maximum relief for you!
Contact San Diego Felony Reduction Lawyer Vik Monder for a FREE consultation today at: 619-405-0063