Reduce Your Felony Charge to a Misdemeanor – Penal Code 17b PC
If you are convicted of a felony, it may be extremely difficult for you to find a job. Moreover, you will not be able to vote in an election or own a gun. In some instances, your Wallin & Klarich attorney may be able to help you reduce your felony to a misdemeanor and restore your voting rights and right to gun ownership under California Penal Code section 17b (PC 17b)[i].
What types of crimes are there in California?
In California, there are three types of crimes: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. A felony is a crime that is punishable by death, imprisonment in the state prison, or imprisonment in county jail. Under California Penal Code section 18, a felony where the punishment is not otherwise prescribed is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for up to three years unless the offense is punishable by imprisonment in county jail pursuant to Penal Code section 1170(h).
A misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment in county jail, a fine, or both a fine and imprisonment in county jail. Under California Penal Code section 19, a misdemeanor where the punishment is not otherwise prescribed is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for up to six months, a fine of up to$1,000, or both a six month imprisonment in county jail and a $1,000 fine.
However, many misdemeanor offenses include punishment in county jail for up to one year within its provisions. Also, a misdemeanor offense can be punished by a fine of up to $2,000 in some cases. For example, battery against a spouse under California Penal Code section 243(e)(1) is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000, imprisonment in county jail for up to one year, or both fine and imprisonment.
An infraction is an offense punishable by a fine. Under California Penal Code section 19.6, an infraction is not punishable by imprisonment.
What felonies can be reduced to a misdemeanor?
Under California Penal Code17b, you may be able to request that your felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor if the offense you committed is a “wobbler”. A “wobbler” is a crime that may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case. If the offense you committed is not a “wobbler”, then you will not be able to reduce it from a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code 17b.
Common examples of wobblers include:
- Assault with a deadly weapon (Penal Code section245(a)(1));
- Battery on a spouse (Penal Code section 273.5(a));
- Grand theft (Penal Code section 487(a)); and
- Possession of a controlled substance (Health & Safety Code section 11377).
What rights will be restored to me by reducing my felony conviction to a misdemeanor?
When you are convicted of a felony, several important rights are taken away from you that will be restored when your charges are reduced to a misdemeanor. For example,
- You will have the right to tell employers when you apply for a job that you were not convicted of a felony;
- You will have the right to own a gun;
- You will have the right to serve on a jury;
- You will have the right to obtain or maintain certain professional licenses; and
- Your will have the right to vote in an election; otherwise it will be denied until you complete your parole or probation as a convicted felon.
Having your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor under Penal Code 17b restores your voting rights, gun ownership rights, and, in some instances, your ability to obtain or maintain your professional license. In addition, you can state that you have never been convicted of a felony on job applications.
What factors will the court consider when determining whether to reduce my felony to a misdemeanor?
The court has the discretion to determine whether to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor under Penal Code 17b. The court will consider several factors in determining whether to reduce your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor, including:
- The nature and seriousness of your offense;
- Your behavior while on probation or under court supervision;
- Your prior criminal record; and
- Any other mitigating or aggravating factors in your case.
When can I request that my felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor?
There are several instances in which you can request that the court reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor under Penal Code 17b. You may be able to petition the court to reduce your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor once you have successfully completed your probation. Your Wallin & Klarich attorney may even be able to request that the court terminate your probation early if you have been on good behavior during your probation period. (PC 1203.3)[ii]
Will any penalties from my felony conviction remain once I reduce my felony conviction to a misdemeanor?
Once your felony conviction has been reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to PC 17b, your conviction will be treated as if it had been a misdemeanor all along. However, certain penalties as a result of your initial felony conviction will remain.
For instance, if the offense you committed was a serious or violent felony, the conviction will remain a “strike” for the purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law. Moreover, if you were required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code 290[iii] as a result of your felony conviction, the reduction of your conviction to a misdemeanor does not terminate that sex offender registration requirement.
Some professional licensing agencies will still consider your felony conviction as a felony, even after you get the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. The State Bar of California considers a felony conviction as a felony, despite a reduction to a misdemeanor, for attorney disciplinary purposes.
How can a Wallin & Klarich attorney help me reduce my felony conviction to a misdemeanor?
The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are highly skilled and experienced in helping clients reduce their felony convictions to a misdemeanor. For over 40 years, Wallin & Klarich attorneys have successfully helped clients petition the court to receive a reduction in their felony convictions under PC 17b.
Your Wallin & Klarich attorney will help guide you through every step of the process. We will explain to you whether your offense is a “wobbler” and if you qualify for a reduction of your conviction under Penal Code17b. Furthermore, we will help you construct a strong argument in favor of reducing your conviction to a misdemeanor. Our experienced lawyers will appear in court on your behalf and be there to persuade the court to grant your motion to reduce your conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
The experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich understand that reducing your felony conviction to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code 17b can greatly help you in your personal and professional life. We know that it may be difficult to move forward with your life after such a devastating punishment and we are here to help.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, San Diego, Torrance and Sherman Oaks., there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense available near you no matter where you work or live.
Please call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245. We will be there when you call.
[i] Information on Penal Code section 17(b) retrieved fromhttp://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=pen&group=00001-01000&file=2-24
[ii] Information on Penal Code 1203.3 retrieved from http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/1203.3.html
[iii] Information on Penal Code 290 retrieved from http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/290.html
Individuals who have completed their sentences for any of the qualifying crimes listed above, and who do not have any disqualifying priors, may petition the superior court in which they were sentenced to have their felony convictions converted to misdemeanors. [Cal. Penal Code § 1170.18(f).]Can a felony be reduced to a misdemeanor in GA? ›
In Georgia, a judge may sentence any defendant convicted of a felony punishable by ten years or less in prison to a misdemeanor sentence instead of a felony sentence. These offenses are commonly referred to as "reducible felonies."Can misdemeanors be dropped in Georgia? ›
Most misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement, but an individual can seek expungement for a maximum of two separate misdemeanor convictions. Serious Felony convictions such as armed robbery and aggravated stalking are not eligible for expungement.Can you get your gun rights back in California? ›
In general, there are two basic options to have your gun rights restored after a conviction. They include having your felony case reduced to a misdemeanor and receiving a pardon from the Governor of California.How can I get my felony dropped to a misdemeanor in California? ›
Generally, a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor in 4 ways: Through a plea bargain, a diversion program, completion of probation, or by showing that the felony elements of the crime are missing. In California, it can be done through a Penal Code 17(b) motion.Can a felony be dropped in California? ›
Dismissing Felony Convictions
You can ask to have your felony conviction dismissed IF: You have no new cases pending, AND; You are not on probation or parole in any case.
There is a misnomer that felony charges in Georgia can be “dropped.” However, generally speaking, the correct terminology is reduced or dismissed. If there is no probable cause found, then the charge gets dismissed by a judge. If there is a plea bargain, the charge can be reduced by a district attorney.What is the minimum sentence for a felony in Georgia? ›
Felony crimes, on the other hand, carry a minimum one year sentence and, for the most serious crimes, can extend all the way up to life imprisonment or even death in very rare circumstances.Can first time felons get probation in Georgia? ›
Following a guilty verdict or guilty plea, the court may defer further proceedings and place you on probation as a First Offender without entering a judgment of guilt against you.Is Georgia a second chance state? ›
The 2nd Chance Act in Georgia was recently expanded, giving certain residents with criminal convictions the opportunity to remove their convictions from their records and pursue gainful employment.
In Georgia, judges frequently sentence people 12 or more months of probation in connection with a misdemeanor or traffic offense. The length is 12 months because that is the maximum amount of jail time you could be facing on most traffic and misdemeanor offenses.Which court handles misdemeanors in Georgia? ›
The Superior Courts of Georgia is a court of general jurisdiction handling both civil and criminal law actions. Superior Court Judges preside over cases involving misdemeanors, contract disputes, premises liability, and various other actions.How long does a felony stay on your record in California? ›
If you've been convicted of a felony in Los Angeles, that will remain on your criminal record indefinitely. That is, unless, you file a petition to have your conviction expunged. Certain felonies in California can be expunged – or removed – from your record.How much does it cost to expunge a felony in California? ›
Including Court Costs, ALL Legal Work and Court Appearances:
Felony Expungement $1,200* (includes a reduction to a misdemeanor when eligible) Sealing of Juvenile or Diversion Records: $3,500.
The cost of the Analysis is $300 and can be credited towards the service(s) your casework is eligible for. The results of the Analysis will likely lead to one of the following options below. Generally, to reinstate your firearm rights in California, a Felony conviction must be Reduced to a Misdemeanor.What is a 17 B motion in California? ›
Under California Penal Code 17b, you may be able to request that your felony conviction be reduced to a misdemeanor if the offense you committed is a “wobbler”. A “wobbler” is a crime that may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case.What is Proposition 47 in the state of California? ›
Proposition 47 (Prop 47) was a ballot measure passed by California voters on November 5, 2014. The law made some non-violent property crimes, where the value does not exceed $950, into misdemeanors. It also made some simple drug possession offenses into misdemeanors.What is the lowest federal felony? ›
Possible Consequences of Federal or Felony Crimes
Even a class E felony, the least serious, could land you in jail for a maximum of three years. Classes D, C, and B can result in penalties that are more severe and could get you 25 years, depending on the crime in question.
What is the time between a crime and trial for California felony offenses? PC 1382 states that, in felony cases, a defendant has the right to go to trial within 60 days of his arraignment.Can I clear my criminal record after 5 years? ›
You can apply to have your criminal record expunged when: a period of 10 years has passed after the date of the conviction for that offence.
Whatever the circumstance, if the accuser decides they no longer want to press charges, they can usually convince the prosecutor to drop them.What happens after arraignment for felony in Georgia? ›
In Georgia, the defendant's first appearance before a judge is often called an "initial appearance." "Arraignment" refers to the hearing at which the prosecution announces the charges it has filed; at that point, the defendant typically responds by pleading either guilty or not guilty.Can a felon live in a house with a gun in Georgia? ›
Yes, but the felon cannot have access to them. Therefore, they must be locked in a safe and he must not know the code or have access to the key to open the safe. A wife of a felon can have a firearm for self-defense but he can't have any reasonable way to access that firearm. Was this worth your time?What is the lowest sentence for a felony? ›
In general, felony offenses, whether state or federal, carry a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Federal felony crimes are divided into classes, with increasing maximum sentences based on the severity of the crime: Class "E" felonies are the least serious and carry penalties of up to three years in prison.How long does it take for a felony case to go to trial in Georgia? ›
Particularly in a felony case, there is no set time period or length that a case can take. It varies widely. I've had one case where it took two years, another case where it took five years. There is no pro forma timeframe on a felony matter.Can you get a first time offender in Georgia with a felony charge? ›
First, you must not have been convicted of a felony in not just Georgia, but any state. Second, you cannot have already been sentenced as a first offender. Third, the crime in which you are charged must not be a serious violent felony, serious sexual offense, DUI, or related to child pornography.How much is felony probation fees in Georgia? ›
How Much Does Probation Cost in Georgia? Probation costs generally range from $15 to $50 per month, depending on the supervision level you are placed on. City courts, also called Municipal Courts, may have their own probation companies that charge a higher fee.Can you bail out of jail on a probation violation in Georgia? ›
Unlike with other types of Georgia warrants, a person who is arrested on a probation violation warrant in GA does not have the opportunity to bail out of jail or be released without seeing a judge.Can you travel while on probation in Georgia? ›
Non-essential travel outside the district will be prohibited during the first 60 days of supervision. The Probation Officer will determine if travel requests during this time are necessary. If travel is granted, it must be verified.Is Georgia a 3 strike state? ›
There is a second part to O.C.G.A. §17-10-7 that is also known as the “Three Strikes Rule.” Any person who has been convicted of three felonies and commits a felony within this state shall, upon conviction for such fourth offense or for subsequent offenses, serve the maximum time provided in the sentence.
Felonies that cannot be expunged include:
- Armed robbery.
- Child molestation.
- False imprisonment.
Georgia's Fair Chance Law
Specifically, the law states that inquiries into an applicant's criminal record cannot occur at the onset of apply for a job, but rather after the initial stage of the application process.
In Georgia, your first court appearance (the arraignment) will happen within 48 hours of your arrest, or 72 hours if there was an arrest warrant. Criminal Charge in Georgia? Please call (888) 205-9314. Your arraignment is the first time you go before a judge or magistrate.How long do misdemeanor warrants last in Georgia? ›
There is a statute of limitations limiting the amount of time the state can prosecute you for a crime and thus issue a warrant – generally two years for misdemeanors and seven years for low-level felonies, with no statute of limitations for more serious offenses such as murder.What is felony probation violation in Georgia? ›
If you commit a felony during your probation period, you will have to serve the rest of your probation term in jail. Your probation officer has the discretion to request a warrant for your arrest if they believe you are not complying with the probation terms.What happens at an arraignment for a misdemeanor in Georgia? ›
What is Arraignment in Georgia? In Georgia, the term arraignment refers to a hearing at which the prosecution announces the charges it has filed against the defendant and the defendant responds by pleading guilty or not guilty.How do I get a criminal case dismissed in Georgia? ›
In the state of Georgia there is no criminal motion to dismiss a case. The prosecutor over your case has to determine whether there is probable cause to prosecute you for a crime. If you wait and hire an attorney when you receive your notice for arraignment you have potentially waited to long.How long does it take to get a warrant in Georgia? ›
As soon as a warrant is issued, it will normally take a minimum of 2 days for it to be processed through the system and considered active to be served to the offender named on the warrant.How do I get a pardon for a felony in California? ›
- Submit a completed Pardon Application (2 pages) to the Governor's Office. ...
- Submit a completed Notice of Intent to Apply for Clemency (1 page) to the district attorney(s) in the county or counties of the conviction(s) for the offense(s) for which you are requesting a pardon.
In general, a conviction for any felony offense will result in a lifetime ban on your ability to possess or own a gun. Certain misdemeanors, such as those involving domestic violence or even drug offenses, may also result in temporary or lifetime bans depending on the conduct which gave rise to the conviction.
Any household member is disqualified from getting CalFresh benefits due to an intentional program violation (IPV), fleeing felon status (see ACL 15-82), or fraud. [MPP § 63-301.741; 7 C.F.R. §§ 273.2(j)(2)(vii)(A), 273.16.]How do you get a felony reduced to a misdemeanor in California? ›
Generally, a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor in 4 ways: Through a plea bargain, a diversion program, completion of probation, or by showing that the felony elements of the crime are missing. In California, it can be done through a Penal Code 17(b) motion.Will my expunged record show up on a background check in California? ›
An expunged arrest is removed completely from the public record. Sealing court records generally only applies to crimes committed by juveniles. The arrest and conviction will remain on the person's record but can only be seen by court order. Sealed records should not turn up in a criminal background check.Is expungement worth it California? ›
For most people, the most valuable benefit of expunging your California criminal record is that it can assist you in securing employment, in spite of suffering a criminal conviction. Today, almost every employer does a background check before hiring a job applicant.Can a felon get a passport? ›
According to USA Today, most felons can get a passport without a problem. This is assuming a person is not currently awaiting trial, on probation or parole or otherwise banned from leaving the country.Does Prop 47 restore gun rights? ›
Prop 47 does not restore your right to own a gun. If you do so, you'll still be subject to California's felon with a gun violation.How long does it take to get a pardon in California? ›
Almost anyone convicted of a California crime can seek a pardon after a satisfactory period of rehabilitation. Depending on the crime, this period can be anywhere from seven (7) to ten (10) years.What types crimes does Prop 47 reduce the penalties for? ›
In addition to defelonizing drug possession, California's Prop 47 also classifies five property offenses for which the dollar value is less than $950 as misdemeanors: 1) theft, 2) receiving stolen property, 3) shoplifting, 4) check forgery, and 5) writing bad checks.Can a felony DUI be reduced to a misdemeanor in California? ›
Reducing a DUI with Injury Charge to a Misdemeanor
In some cases, a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles can get felony DUI causing injury charges reduced to the misdemeanor level. Note that charges cannot generally be reduced if you are facing felony charges based on your prior criminal history.
A motion for resentencing (“MFR”) is a legal motion that a defendant (or his/her attorney) files with the court, and in it, asks the judge to modify or alter his sentence. An MFR is also referred to as a “petition to modify a sentence.”
Consequences for Residential Burglary – PC 459
Residential burglary is a straight felony that cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. Entering into another person's home is ordinarily charged as a serious felony making it applicable to California's Three Strike laws.
Can I become a social worker or therapist if I have a criminal history? The BBS may deny licenses to aspiring social workers if they were convicted of a crime within seven years of their license application. This is only true, though, provided the conviction was substantially related to social work.Can a third degree felony be reduced in Florida? ›
A criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach can also help you get your third degree felony charge expunged from your record. In Florida, you can expunge your record if the charges did not lead to a conviction or if your record has been sealed for 10 years or more.What is a 17b reduction? ›
A Penal Code 17(b) motion is a petition asking the court to reduce a felony offense to a misdemeanor. This is only possible if the felony is a wobbler, meaning the offense could have been originally charged as either. a misdemeanor or. a felony.Why would you get a felony charge from a DUI in CA? ›
DUI can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony under California law. While a first, second or third DUI is usually classified as a misdemeanor, DUI is a felony if the defendant: has four DUIs in 10 years, has a prior felony DUI, was involved in a DUI causing injury, or was DUI with a minor in the car.Can a felon become a lawyer in California? ›
People who wish to become an attorney in California can have their bar applications denied for lack of positive moral character. In many cases, a criminal history is evidence of poor moral character. However, the State Bar may still accept applicants with criminal histories if they can show proof of rehabilitation.How much is a sentence reduced for a guilty plea? ›
Plea indicated after the first stage of proceedings – maximum one quarter – sliding scale of reduction thereafter After the first stage of the proceedings the maximum level of reduction is one-quarter (subject to the exceptions in section F).How do judges decide sentence length? ›
A judge must impose a sentence that is sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to: reflect the seriousness of the offense; promote respect for the law; provide just punishment for the offense; adequately deter criminal conduct; protect the public from further crimes by the defendant; and provide the defendant with ...How does a sentence get reduced? ›
A federal judge can reduce a sentence if there is an existence of mitigating circumstances. These are circumstances that include any reason a crime shouldn't be considered serious as the guideline range utilized.Is PC 459 a felony or misdemeanor? ›
Residential burglary is always charged as a felony under California penal code 459 PC. This type of burglary occurs in a structure where the victim lives rather than a commercial establishment. Watch this video to understand the difference between residential and commercial burglary.
California Penal Code 475 PC makes it a crime to have possession of a counterfeit item (such as a fake check) with the intent to pass it on and defraud another person. The offense can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony and carries a potential sentence of up to 3 years in jail.Is PC 496 felony or misdemeanor? ›
Receiving stolen property is a serious criminal offense under California Penal Code Section 496(a) PC that can result in a felony conviction.