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Criminal Defense Attorneys

Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor Case Results

The following case summaries of our work on our clients’ cases exemplify how a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor through plea bargaining, a Penal Code 17(b) motion, at a preliminary hearing or in the process of expungement.
 
Quite frequently, a case is filed as a felony due to the injuries involved, for example in a DUI matter.  However, as the medical records are reviewed, it becomes clear that, for example, the passenger really did not break her hip; it was just a bruise.  Or the blood in the photographs taken at the scene was not from a severe laceration, but just a small cut, yet it bled quite a bit and was not wiped away until after the photograph was taken.

The following results do not include reductions that a judge granted under Proposition 47 (the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act) or Proposition 64 (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act).  Such cases are reported separately under their own “Other Services” page.

image descriptionLong Beach Superior Courthouse

As one can read in many of the summaries, when our office filed a formal motion for reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor, our points and authorities in the motion would evaluate the factors in aggravation and the factors in mitigation involved in the crime and the defendant’s history.  Such factors are listed at California Rules of Court, Rule 4.421 (factors in aggravation) and Rule 4.423 (factors in mitigation).  While these are not an exhaustive list of such factors, judge do appreciate a thorough analysis of such factors in deciding whether to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor.

Perhaps the most common reason a person hopes to have a felony reduced to a misdemeanor is to avoid the stigma of being a convicted felon, however, a great deal of our clients are keenly interested in restoring their right to own and purchase a firearm.  A common other reason involves statutory rape under Penal Code § 261.5(d), wherein expungement of the conviction is only possible if the crime if first reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

We remind the reader than not every felony is eligible for reduction to a misdemeanor.  To find out if a felony is eligible, one needs to read the statute setting forth the punishment for the offense.  If the statute states that violation of the statute is punishment by imprisonment in the state prison or county jail for no longer than one year, it is “wobbler,” or eligible to be alleged as either a felony or a misdemeanor and consequently, if alleged as a felony, one should consider asking a judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.
 
The following summaries describe cases in which we have done this.

If you want to read about our reduction of felony to misdemeanor cases, please click on the links below to go to a list of detailed cases.
  1. East Los Angeles, Car Crash, Train Wrecks Car, 0.17% BAC
  2. Compton, Felony DUI Reduced to Misdemeanor, 0.19% BAC
  3. Felony DUI, Long Beach, Under 21 Driver, Misdemeanor Plea
  4. San Luis Obispo, Felony Domestic Violence, Plea Misdemeanor
  5. Inglewood, Felony Domestic Violence Reduced to Misdemeanor
  6. Redondo Beach, Felony Case Negotiated to Misdemeanor PC 242
  7. Torrance, Possession of Meth for Sales; Plea to Possession
  8. Airport Courthouse, Felony Grand Theft from Employer, $4,175
  9. Carson Juvenile Case, Two Felonies, Settled for Misdemeanor
  10. Lancaster, 6 Counts Felony Graffiti, Plea to 1 Misdemeanor
  11. Long Beach, Client Charged with Felony Arson and Felony Vandalism After Burning Girlfriend’s Clothes and Kicking in Her Furniture, Destroying It; Case Resolved for Misdemeanor Arson and Vandalism
  12. Long Beach, Client Sets Trash Can on Fire in Apartment Complex, Charged with Felony Arson (Penal Code § 451(d)); Our Firm Reduces Charges to Misdemeanor and Resolves Case for 1 Year Informal Probation
  13. Hermosa Beach, Client Utters Threats and Promises to Use Gun, Felony Criminal Threats Reduced to Misdemeanor After Client Attended 26 Anger Management Classes
  14. Torrance, Felony Animal Cruelty Reduced to Misdemeanor
  15. Palos Verdes Estates, Statutory Rape, Conviction Expunged
  16. Torrance, Grand Theft, Felony Reduced to Misdemeanor
  17. Torrance, Felony Government Code 1090 to Misdemeanor, 1203.4
  18. Felony Possession of Pot, Reduced to Misdemeanor, Dismissal
  19. Downtown LA, Grand Theft, $57,100, Reduced to Misdemeanor
  20. Statutory Rape (PC 261.5(d)) Reduced to Misdemeanor Expunged
  21. Torrance Felony 273.5 Felony Reduced to Misdemeanor, 1203.4
  22. Long Beach, Felony Conviction Down to Misdemeanor, Expunged
  23. Pasadena Hit & Run, Probation Early Termination, Expungement
  24. Bench Warrant, Felony Transportation, Reduced to Misdemeanor
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