A Penal Code 17(b) motion, also commonly known as a 17(b) motion, is where the defense lawyer asks the judge to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor.
In California, a felony can only be reduced to a misdemeanor if the crime is a wobbler. A wobbler is a crime that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. An example of a wobbler is penal code 422 – criminal threats. The DA can file criminal threats as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
If a wobbler gets filed as a felony, the court can later reduce the charge to a misdemeanor under penal code 17 b. There are three points in a case when one can file a 17 B motion. These are;
- After the preliminary hearing
- At the time of sentencing
- At the end of probation
In some cases the defendant can ask the court for early termination of probation and a reduction to a misdemeanor and an expungement all at the same time.
There are a lot of benefits to having a misdemeanor on your record rather than a felony. It can make it easier to get a job, get a state license such as a nursing license and in some cases, it can restore your gun rights.
In deciding whether or not to grant a 17 B motion, the judge will generally look at three things
- The defendant’s personal and criminal record
- The circumstances of the alleged crime
- How well the defendant complied with the terms of probation
A judge has no obligation to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. A good defense lawyer has to present the evidence and arguments that will likely convince the judge to grant the motion.
you need help reducing the felony to a misdemeanor and cleaning up your record contact.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime and you need help reducing the felony to a misdemeanor and cleaning up your record contact Mark Shayani of Pacific Attorney Group. He can provide a free consultation in office or by phone and is available to answer any question you may have.