What Does being Charged with a “Wobbler” Offense in California Mean?
The term “wobbler” is one that is frequently used with regards to the penalties, punishment and sentencing associated with California crimes. However, many people are unfamiliar with what the phrase “wobbler offense” actually means.
What is a Wobbler Offense in California?
California law defines a “wobbler” offense as an offense that prosecutors can elect to file as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How you will be charged will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The specific facts of your case, and
- Your criminal history
If the actions you took in committing your crime are severe, you will likely be charged with a felony. You will also likely be charged with a felony if you have a prior criminal history that justifies a harsh punishment. However, if you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, your attorney can argue that your criminal history doesn’t justify a felony charge, and that the actions you took are not severe enough to warrant a felony charge.
Your defense lawyer could also work to have the charge filed as a misdemeanor because it is your first offense or prove to a judge and prosecutors that there are other mitigating facts that could reduce your criminal culpability. This way, you will be charged with a much less severe misdemeanor offense.
Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
There are certain rights and privileges that are revoked when you are convicted of a felony. As long as your offense is charged as a misdemeanor, you will preserve some of these rights. These rights include the right to own or possess firearms.
In the unfortunate event you are charged and convicted of a felony for a wobbler offense, this does not mean you will have to deal with these harsh consequences forever. Your attorney can later petition the court to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. This relief isn’t available for “straight” felonies. It is only available to those who were convicted of a felony that is classified as a wobbler offense.
The bottom line is that if you’ve been charged with a wobbler, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys know the most effective arguments for convicting prosecutors and judges to minimize your potential penalties by charging you with a misdemeanor instead of a felony. The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is an enormous one for your record and the possible consequences. Let us help you today so that this charge will not ruin your future.
Call the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, you will need an experienced Southern California defense attorney who will aggressively defend you to obtain the best possible result. We may be able to help you avoid felony charges if you are accused of a wobbler offense.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.