Reducing Felony to Misdemeanor – Wobblers – Penal Code Section 17(b)
Crimes that provide for either felony or misdemeanor sentencing are referred
to as “wobblers”. When a client is charged with a crime that
is a wobbler, the Judge may order the client held to answer to either
a felony or a misdemeanor. The judge may also reduce a felony to a misdemeanor
when the crime is a felony punishable by a fine or imprisonment in jail
for more than one year or in prison without an alternative sentence to
jail for a period not more than one year.
When a crime is punishable by state prison or imprisonment in jail for
more than one year the crime is not reducible to a misdemeanor. Reduction
can be done on the Judge’s own motion or on the motion of the client’s
defense attorney. If the judge reduces a felony to a misdemeanor, it is
treated as a misdemeanor generally for all purposes. Some clients may
be able to have his or her charges reduced to a misdemeanor. A judge can
reduce a crime to a misdemeanor at the conclusion of the preliminary hearing,
at the time of felony sentencing or after a client has been sentenced
and completed felony probation. The judge takes into consideration the
nature of the offense, the facts of the case, the client’s compliance
with probation terms and conditions, client’s criminal and personal history.
If you are in need of help with reducing your felony to a misdemeanor under
Penal Coe 17(b),
contact The McGuire Law Office.