Reducing Felony Convictions to Misdemeanors
California Penal Code (PC) section 17(b)

 

A felony conviction on one’s record can be damaging for one’s employment prospects, in one's profession, or in your personal life and prospects. In addition, it adversely affects one's civil rights. The judicial relief of reducing your felony conviction(s) to a misdemeanor(s) offers several benefits. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to): •being able to say honestly that you have never been convicted of a felony (which is important for job, housing, and loan applications), •obtaining or maintaining professional licenses, •regaining the right to serve on a jury, and • restoring your California gun rights.

Are you Eligible? The law that allows you to reduce your felony conviction(s) to a misdemeanor(s) is the California Penal Code 17(b). This law establishes two requirements for reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor: (1) The felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor must have been the type of offense that could be prosecuted and punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor; and (2) Probation must have been granted to the felony when initially convicted.

(1) Type of offense that may be prosecuted and punishable as a felony or a misdemeanor. There are many offenses that could be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor under California law, too many to list here. A few examples of a few are • Penal Code 459 PC California's burglary law, • Penal Code 245(a) (1) PC California's "assault with a deadly weapon" (ADW) law, • Penal Code 422 PC California's criminal threats law, • Penal Code 273.5 PC California's spousal battery law, • Many California sex crimes • Most California fraud charges. 2. Probation must have been granted The second requirement is that you must have been granted probation in connection with your felony conviction.

If the court denied probation (or you violated your probation), and you were sentenced to serve time in the California State Prison, you are not eligible for a reduction12 (or, unfortunately, an expungement). Serving time in a county jail is okay and does not affect your eligibility. In order for you to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor, both of these requirements must be satisfied. This means that even if your offense was a correct type, (i.e., it could be prosecuted and punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor), but you served time in the state prison, you are ineligible for this relief. Contact the Lee Law Group for further explanation of the California Penal Code section 17.b, allowing certain felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors.


 

All Other Offenses

There are numerous other offenses under Cali law, both felony and misdemeanor and these are too numerous to list properly on any website. We at the Lee Law Group have endeavored to list many of those we believe district attorneys and other prosecutors charge people with more than they charge the others. However, we at the Lee Law Group are ready, willing, and able to provide the best criminal defense we are able for any offense that maybe charged in the state of California. Rest assured, if you are charged with it, we can defend you.

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