You may face felony or misdemeanor charges in California. You may sometimes work with a lawyer to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor-level offense. A lawyer could use a Penal Code 17(b) motion (or a motion to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor) to help you in this situation.
The team at the Simmrin Law Group understands Penal Code 17(b) motions. Contact us to find out if this motion would work for you by calling our office or completing our contact form. The sooner you speak with a California criminal defense attorney, the sooner you can defend your rights and protect your freedom.
Basic Information about Penal Code 17(b) Motions
A Penal Code 17(b) motion requests the court system to change a felony charge into a misdemeanor. However, not all felony charges in California can be reduced this way. A lawyer may only use a Penal Code 17(b) motion for you if:
- You are charged with a “wobbler.”
- You do not spend any time in prison.
Your lawyer may make a Penal Code 17(b) motion at multiple points throughout your case.
Generally, these motions are filed after your preliminary hearing or even during sentencing if you are convicted of a felony. Your lawyer could file a motion after you are convicted and have completed your probation.
Penal Code 17(b) Motions and Wobblers
A Penal Code 17(b) motion may only work for you if you were charged with a wobbler. Wobblers are specific criminal charges in California. Prosecutors can charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony if you face wobbler charges.
Many different charges are considered wobblers in California. Examples of wobblers include:
- Penal Code §245(a)(1): Assault with a Deadly Weapon
- Penal Code §273.5: Spousal Battery
- Penal Code §459: Burglary
Note that these are only examples of a few wobblers. A lawyer may review your case to see if you are facing a wobbler charge and will help you file a Penal Code 17(b) motion if applicable.
This could reduce the severity of the penalties you face if convicted. It is always in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense lawyer near me in California about misdemeanor or felony charges. A felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor can make a major impact on your life, including being able to find a job, provide for your family, and more.
Prison Time and Penal Code 17(b) Motions
A lawyer might not file a Penal Code 17(b) motion if you spent time in prison after a conviction for a felony in California. Any amount of prison time disqualifies you from reducing a felony to a misdemeanor. This means a lawyer may work hard to ensure you get probation instead of prison time after a conviction.
Your lawyer may also file a Penal Code 17(b) motion before you are convicted. Note that you will still face penalties if you are convicted of a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction could result in time in jail, fines, and other penalties.
Result of a Successful Penal Code 17(b) Motion in California
You may wonder what to expect if a judge grants your Penal Code 17(b) motion. In this situation, you will face misdemeanor charges instead of a felony. However, there are several limitations on a Penal Code 17(b) motion.
You may still get a strike on your record for your conviction. Additionally, sex crime convictions may require joining California’s sex crime registry. Finally, California should not consider you a felon after a successful Penal Code 17(b) motion. However, the federal government and some licensing agencies may still treat your charges as a felony.
Note that you may continue working to reduce your charges after a conviction in California. A lawyer may focus on getting your charges expunged completely in some cases. You may expunge either a misdemeanor or felony charge.
Expunging a charge removes it from your record. You may discuss all of your legal options if you were charged with a felony here in California. We can then focus on defending you before the court issues a conviction. We’re also ready to reduce your charges with a Penal Code 17(b) motion. Find out how we can help by contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Simmrin Law Group in California.
Speak to a Lawyer About a Penal Code 17(b) Motion
We’re here to answer your questions about Penal Code 17(b) and motions to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. Discuss your situation during a free consultation with our criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles. Don’t wait for help if you’re dealing with a felony charge. Waiting too long can lead to serious complications, such as missing filing deadlines and more.
Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group right now to get answers to your specific legal questions. It’s easy to contact us by completing our online contact form now.