Felony Reductions to Misdemeanors… and Expungements (a California myth)

Do you have a criminal conviction that is preventing you from getting a job or gaining entry into higher education?  Are you a California resident? If the answer to either of those questions is yes then you have stumbled upon the right blog!

In California there are different classifications of crimes depending on the possible prison or jail time that you could serve.  Generally speaking with probation and plea negotiation maters set aside; If you are convicted of a felony then you would go to jail for a year or more depending on the specific crime. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor then your jail sentence will not be longer than a year. There are also some crimes that are called “wobblers”.  Wobblers are crimes that could be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.  These classifications are often important to people who  are applying to schools and jobs.  Often times people are denied employment or admittance to schools because of mistakes that they made in the past. The good news is that if you fall into that category, Seneca Law Group may be able to help!

People often refer to the term expungement when talking about trying to get rid of their criminal record. In California there is no such thing as an expungement, although there are other ways to get the results you are looking for.  Under Penal Code Section 17(b)(3) when the court convicts you of a felony that is a Online Casino wobbler but gives you probation without sending you to jail; You can later petition the court to reduce the felony to a  misdemeanor.  The court has discretion based on the offense committed, who the offender is, and what is in the public’s best interest to either reduce it to a misdemeanor or to deny the motion.  If the motion is successful then your felony conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor and will be treated as a misdemeanor. * (*-Penal Code Section 17(b), other laws and case law have carved out exceptions to this rule and you should consult an attorney to see if any of these exceptions would apply to you)

If you are seeking to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor then it is of the utmost importance that you hire an experienced competent attorney to analyze if you are able to bring a motion under 17(b) (3), to draft, file and serve the motion and to help you convince the judge that your felony should be reduced to a misdemeanor.  If you have any questions about criminal law or would like to speak to an experienced attorney please contact Seneca Law Group today.  Initial consultations are free.




This blog has been written for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal authority or legal advice.  The laws change very often and are frequently updated. If you have any legal questions, issues or problems they should be addressed by an attorney at a live consultation.

Comments 8

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    Whats the timeframe it usually takes for a court to make a decision to grant the change to the charge from the Felony to a Misdemeanor

    1. Post
      Michael Runkle

      Generally speaking your attorney will have to prepare and file a motion with the court. The date for the motion will be set and the district or city attorney will be put on notice through what is called service of process. On the day of the hearing the Judge will make a final determination on the reduction of your charges and the paperwork will be processed that day. If you would like to speak to an attorney call us today for a free consultation. (619) 630-8529

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