A “wobbler” is a criminal offense that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor. Offenses that can only be charged as felonies are referred to as “straight felonies.”

Under Penal Code Section 17(b) a felony “wobbler” can be reduced to a misdemeanor while a criminal case is pending or after conviction. A judge can reduce a felony to a misdemeanor after a defendant’s preliminary hearing. Conversely, if the defendant was granted probation at the time of sentencing, he or she will may seek a PC 17(b) reduction. If the defendant was sentenced to serve time in prison, however, he or she will be ineligible.

A judge will decide whether a reduction is appropriate. In making that decision, a judge will consider a number of factors, including the underlying facts of the offense, the defendant’s performance on probation, the defendant’s criminal history, and any circumstances that would support the misdemeanor reduction – such as a potential job offer.

Criminal defense attorney Paul Hefley can help you determine the best strategy moving forward. As a criminal lawyer who focuses on felony reductions and expungements, he can help to protect your permanent record. Please contact our San Diego law office for more information regarding felony reductions.