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Can I Turn My Felony into a Misdemeanor?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

San Jose criminal defense attorney, felony, misdemeanor,If you are arrested and convicted of an offense, it is a very serious ordeal to have to go through. From the time of the arrest until the time of sentencing, many defendants wonder how their future may be impacted. Additionally, defendants may worry about their rights and which ones they may lose if they are convicted of a felony offense. The rights one may lose or have altered after a felony conviction in California include the following:

  • The right to own a firearm;
  • Immigration status; and
  • Access to federal benefits.

California law provides a mechanism by which a person can motion the court to downgrade his or her felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This motion can be made at different parts during a criminal case; however, the most common time the motion is presented to the court is after a term of probation has been successfully completed.

Who is Eligible to Have a Felony Reduced to a Misdemeanor?

Under California law, in order to be eligible to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor, the felony must be considered as a “wobbler” offense. This means that it is an infraction that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

The court will consider several variables when a motion for reduction is presented. The court takes each motion made and analyzes the severity of the offense as well as any public interest concerns that may arise. The court also looks to see if probation if applicable has been successfully completed.

Is it Worth the Trouble?

Having a felony conviction on your record can prevent you from taking advantage of some key opportunities in life. For example, a felony conviction can prevent you from being able to find housing. A felony conviction can bar you from taking advantage of certain social programs and even bar you from getting certain professional licenses. It can also have a detrimental effect on any subsequent charges or convictions—having a prior felony may aggravate a subsequent sentence imposed by a California court.

Can I Do This Myself?

For this motion to prevail, you will need to make a compelling argument to the court. Oral testimony alone will likely not be sufficient. The facts presented to the court will need to be supported by documentation with attesting witness testimony to give you the best shot at having the motion granted.

Call an experienced San Jose criminal defense attorney at 408-246-5500 to schedule a free consultation. One mistake does not have to define the rest of your life. The attorneys at Jachimowicz Law Group, are eager to put their more than a century’s worth of experience to work aggressively in defending your rights and your future.

Source:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=17.&lawCode=PEN

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