How to Reduce Felony Charge to a Misdemeanor in California

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;

  1. After the preliminary hearing
  2. At the time of sentencing
  3. 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

  1. The defendant’s personal and criminal record
  2. The circumstances of the alleged crime
  3. 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.

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