Criminal Defense

How to Reduce a Felony to Misdemeanor

October 11, 2013 by Seppi Esfandi in Criminal Defense   Leave a Comment

Felony or Misdemeanor

We are commonly asked at our offices if it’s possible to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, and the answer is commonly yes. I say commonly because there are some limitations to the types of crimes that are eligible for such treatment. The two most important factors that determine if your crime is eligible are:

  1. Was your offense a wobbler?
  2. Was probation granted?

The first element requires that your crime was a wobbler. A wobbler is a crime that can be tried as both a felony and misdemeanor, this eliminates some sex related crimes and violent offenses. There are a plethora of wobblers in our system but here is a list of the most common:

  • CA Penal Code 459 – Burglary
  • CA Penal Code 422 – Criminal Threats
  • CA Penal Code 245 – Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • CA Penal Code 314 – Indecent Exposure

The second element requires that you were granted probation and that your probation term was served successfully, meaning without any violations. If you were granted probation but then violated the terms of your probation then you are not eligible to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.

When am I Eligible to Reduce my Felony Conviction?

You are eligible to have your conviction reduced upon the completion of your probation term. If you want to petition for an early termination of your probation you can contact an attorney who can petition on your behalf. In order to be eligible for early termination of your probation there must be good cause, such as:

  • Your probation is preventing you from advancing at your job
  • It is preventing you from obtaining employment
  • Qualifying for a loan

Furthermore, you must have successfully completed all the terms of your probation before a judge will grant early termination.

What Factors Determine Whether the Reduction Will be Granteed

Just because you successfully completed your probation term and your offense was a wobbler does not guarantee that your felony conviction will be reduced. There are several factors that the judge will explore before making the decision, namely:

  • Your criminal background
  • How quickly and efficiently you completed the terms of your probation
  • The facts of the case that led to your felony conviction
  • Your personal background

What are the Benefits and the Drawbacks of Reducing a Felony Conviction

The benefits of reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor are numerous. Firstly, you can honestly and truthfully say that you are not a convicted felon. You become more desirable for companies when seeking employment and you also become eligible for certain professional licenses that are only available to non-convicted felons. You are also able to serve on a jury and you might be able to have your California gun rights restored.

However, there are limitations as to what the reduction can do for you. Firstly, you will still be required to register as a sex offender in accordance to CA Penal Code 290[2]. Secondly, if your felony was for a serious or violent offense, a reduction will not erase the strike you received in accordance to California’s Three Strike’s Law. Next, not all state licensing agencies will consider the reduction to be official.

If you are a convicted felon and want to have your conviction reduced to a misdemeanor then it’s imperative to talk to a skilled attorney who knows the court system inside and out.

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is being charged with a crime, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office located in Century City, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

Read our Client Reviews

Seppi Esfandi has over 16 years of experience representing clients for a myriad of criminal matter and providing other valuable legal services.

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Gerardo C.

Seppi was amazing, one of the nicest persons I've met. He was very professional and handled my case like so. He assured me from the beginning what he was going to be able to do for me and always was truthful. He always answered my phone calls and when he didn't he would respond to my voicemails promptly as well communicate via text. The fees were very reasonable. I never had to go to court and he fixed everything for me. I will definitely recommend him to my friends and family.

Anthony M.

I was facing 2 felony counts which included 2 strikes on my record. Each count was a sentence of 2-4 years in state prison. I was looking at 2 counts which could have sent me to jail for a maximum of 8 years. The DA was trying to offer me a lesser misdemeanor charge and Mr. Esfandi advised me to deny their offer and he assured me of a better outcome. MY CASE WAS DISMISSED! I told my girlfriend this is a blessing from God, and she said no it wasn't, you had a great lawyer! Thank you Seppi for doing an outstanding job. You saved my life!

Evan N.

This was the first time that I had to choose an attorney for anything. I am very thankful that I end up choosing Seppi Esfandi. The outcome of my brothers case was perfect and beyond fair with no jail time! I believe that without Seppi, my brother would had definitely been charged with a felony and served jail time. My family is extremely pleased with the professionalism that the Law Office of Seppi Esfandi had provided during the case. The paralegal, Jorge, was very friendly, professional, and I could immediately tell that they cared about our family situation. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!

Courtney M.

I've never been in a situation where I needed a lawyer before. Seppi has been highly communicative, proactive and knowledgeable as well as affordable. He is very personable and listens to you, as well as makes you feel comfortable with the process. I felt such relief after choosing him. The best part? He got my case dismissed! I highly recommend him.

Amber B.

Meeting with Seppi Esfandi was the first step in the right direction after a big setback. He is professional, honest, generous, and has passion for what he does. He quickly and effectively answered every single question I had regarding my case and went above and beyond to help me. Esfandi did not stop fighting for me until he saw results in my case - I am so appreciative and grateful for all of his dedication and passion.

Carrie P.

Seppi was the first attorney I have ever hired and will be the only one I ever hire! My kids father was looking at 4 years prison and he got him down to 180 days and back to probation. So instead of prison time he is staying in county to only serve around 90 days. There were more then one cases and even though Seppi could've have charged more to help extra he made sure the other case was done right. He was very attentive and caring and didn't have very bad pricing considering. Thank you so much Seppi!

Miguel T.

I was facing two felony charges Seppi was able to bring it down to a 1 misdemeanor, the other charge was dropped, i did not have to do any jail time and I did not have register. I'm very pleased with Seppi's help and also Jorge who was there from the day I called. I would highly recommend Seppi if you are in need of any legal help.

Cindy F.

Seppi and Shaun were by far the nicest people I have dealt with. I had a complicated situation with terrible prosecutors thinking just because I had a DUI, it automatically makes me a loser, a drunk, a terrible person - we all make mistakes. Seppi was able to get my case dismissed at one courthouse, and at the second was able to have me get the minimum sentence. I was scared from the get-go, but he was very supportive, especially after my mom passed. I would recommend Seppi and the Firm to my family/friends (heaven forbid they ever end up in my situation).

Britney D.

Seppi was awesome. He will answer his phone at 10pm on a Saturday or any other time you need him. The decision to hire him was obvious. I've never been in legal trouble before and he made me feel very comfortable and assured throughout the entire situation. I actually relocated to northern California before the case ended and he was able to handle everything for me from a distance. I did not have to fly back to LA once. As far as LA lawyers go I found him priced at the going rate and money very well spent. I cannot not speak for more serious offenders, but for my situation, it was perfect.

Johanna D.

Seppi was great. He helped me get through one of the most stressful and frightening moments in my life. He answered nearly every question I had & if he was unable to answer at the moment, he made sure to follow-up with me as soon as he had the answer and/or information I needed. Since this was my first time ever in a legal situation, I was scared and confused. Seppi definitely helped me get through it. With his willingness to listen to me and with his expertise, I felt comforted & at ease knowing I had his assistance.

Amanda P.

Seppi is the best lawyer!! I was charged with a felony and he told me that it was a felony strike but that he would work hard for me. I knew to get him on my case because of the way he presented himself, i could tell he was a good lawyer. my case got dismissed after he went to court with me a few times. I am so thankful to Seppi for helping me.

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