Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog
     


Reducing Felony Offenses to Misdemeanors in Los Angeles

Posted on: April 3, 2009 at 7:35 a.m.

A skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will have the ability to work with the Los Angeles courts to negotiate sentencing, charges and so on. Getting a felony changed to a misdemeanor charge in Los Angeles is difficult, but the skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Kestenbaum, Gorin and Eisner have experience doing just that.

There are many benefits to having a felony turned into a misdemeanor, and while some might think it is difficult, it's not impossible. For example, a recent report stated that the University of Southern California football player Shareece Wrights initial felony charge of resisting a police officer was reduced to a misdemeanor offense. The charges stem from an incident at a house party in Colton, California in September of 2008. Local law enforcement was called to the scene and proceeded to break up the party, ordering Wright to leave. Wright claims he was asked by the partys host to stay. The Los Angeles Times does not mention any physical force or violence between Wright and police on the scene, which is most likely why the charges against him were reduced to a misdemeanor.

A judge in the San Bernardino Superior Court ruled that in Wrights case the football players actions were less violent to a significant degree than would normally have been classified as a felony offense. Co-defendant Salvador Naza, who was also at the party and ordered to leave by local police still faces felony charges of resisting a police officer. Wright could still face time in a county jail, but his Los Angeles criminal defense attorney is optimistic that the player will ultimately be punished with either community service or a fine instead.
In California, there are many criminal offenses that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony. Such offenses are commonly referred to as wobblers. Examples of criminal offenses that are wobblers include theft, assault, drug violations and certain types of driving under the influence (DUI).

In most cases, an offence is either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the amount of damage done, injury caused, or the monetary value of items stolen. Other factors may also influence a judges decision to reduce charges to a misdemeanor. Prior criminal record is probably one of the most important things taken into consideration. Someone with a long criminal history, or even a troubled personal history, is less likely to have charges reduced, even if most of the prior convictions were misdemeanors as well. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you as to which offenses might be reduced.

If you have been charged with a felony criminal offense, the right attorney will thoroughly look through your case to see if charges might be reduced. Call the attorneys at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP today to see if you might be able to avoid possible prison time.

Tagged as: california criminal laws

Comments:

A Greenfield, UCLA on May 24, 2009 at 12:31 a.m. wrote:

I find it interesting that it is so common to be able to reduce a felony into a misdemeanor. As mentioned above, in the cases of DUIs, theft, assault, and drug violations, these 'wobbler' offenses can be prosecuted as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Is the difference, for example, the severity of the assault? The extent of the theft? Or is it instead the ability to shape your argument such that it minimizes the perceptible wrongdoing? If the last question is indeed true, it is so important to craft arguments so that you are credible, connect with the audience, and give justifications that are clear, to the point, and empower the audience.









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