What is a Felony Reduction to Misdemeanor
While it is never ideal to be convicted of any crime, if it happens to fall upon you, being convicted of a misdemeanor is far more desirable than that of a felony which is why a felony reduction is important.. Getting convicted of a felony limits your ability to reside in the United States without scrutiny, and brings a much harsher sentence than a misdemeanor conviction. Even after a felony sentence is served, certain rights allocated to non convicted felons are stripped from you, including the right to bear arms, future employment opportunities, and the ability to retain professional licenses. On the other hand, a misdemeanor conviction brings less jail time, little to no restrictions on your life after your sentence is served, and allows you to apply for municipal services or housing, free of a felony conviction itself. While being charged with a felony may appear to have a bleak outcome at a first glance, there is a chance to get a felony reduction to a misdemeanor if the crime being charged is a wobbler.
Wobbler Offenses Allow Felony Reduction
In California, a wobbler is a term that describes a crime that can be either charged as a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on a multitude of factors relating to the case. While there are countless crimes that can be considered as wobblers, generally speaking, cases involving minor theft, battery, issuing threats against another individual, and fraud charges, can typically be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Upon filing charges, a district attorney will determine whether or not to charge the case under the more lenient standard of a misdemeanor, or the more stringent bar of a felony. If a defendant is lucky enough to have the district attorney file the charge as a misdemeanor, they should be fortunate that the attorney has done so, and proceed with their case accordingly. However, should the attorney choose to file a charge as a felony, the defendant has the ability to try and reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.
How to get a Felony Reduction to a Misdemeanor
In order to get a felony reduction to a misdemeanor, a motion must be filed with the court and granted by the judge overseeing your case. At any given time during a criminal case, there are three different time points where a defense attorney may file a motion to reduce the charges of a felony to a misdemeanor: at the end of a preliminary hearing, during a felony sentencing, and after a felony sentence and probation has been served. Regardless of the time period, in order to secure the reduction, your defense attorney would file a motion indicating why they believe the court should reduce your charge to a misdemeanor by citing relevant case factors in support of your position that include but are not limited to:
- The defendant’s prior background and criminal record
- The defendant’s behavior since the arrest or conviction
- The facts and severity of the case
- The completion of any programs or certificates earned in relation to current charges
- Letters of recommendation from overseeing officers
Finally, after submitting this motion, the district attorney assigned to the case has the opportunity to contest this reduction in front of the judge. Should they choose to object, your defense attorney would respond to their claims to restate your case in front of the judge, who will make the final decision in regards to your motion for reduction.
Experienced Help for Felony Reduction
Getting a judge to grant a felony reduction to a misdemeanor is no simple task and should be handled with appropriate detail by a senior criminal defense attorney. At Kenney Legal Defense Corporation, we have experienced criminal defense staff that have dealt with numerous reduction cases who strive to get the best possible outcome on a case. If you or a loved one is currently in need of a felony reduction to a misdemeanor charge, contact Kenney Legal Defense at (855)505-5588 today!.