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Wobbler Laws

How to Reduce A Felony To A Misdemeanor in California

California law allows for certain offenses to be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies. These types of crimes are termed “wobblers” because they wobble between these two categories of offenses. How the prosecutor handles a wobbler depends on the specific facts of the case and whether you have a criminal history. For example, if you have a prior record of theft and commit a misdemeanor petty theft crime, the prosecution may charge you with a felony because of your prior record. Under California law, a "wobbler" is presumed to be a felony crime and remains a felony unless the prosecutor exercises discretion to make the crime a misdemeanor.

Important rights and privileges are revoked when you are convicted of a felony in California. You may not be able to own a gun, serve on a jury, or keep your job if you have a felony conviction on your record. If you have been accused of a wobbler offense you need to speak with a qualified DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney who may be able to help reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and avoid the loss of some very important rights.

California Wobbler Crimes

Different charges have different distinguishing characteristics that make them felonies or misdemeanors. There are more than 100 offenses that California law defines as wobblers. These offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • DUI
  • Burglary or theft
  • Fraud
  • Assault with a deadly weapon

In a theft case, the dollar amount can determine whether the crime was a felony or misdemeanor theft. If you’ve been arrested for shoplifting and the merchandise amount was less than $900, it is considered misdemeanor petty theft. In the case of a DUI, one of the distinguishing characteristics as to whether the charges are felony or misdemeanor is the degree of injury. Minor injuries are likely to result in a misdemeanor DUI charge. Serious or life-threatening injuries as a result of driving under the influence are likely to result in a felony DUI charge.

Strong Defense of California Wobbler Offenses

If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, you need an experienced DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney on your side. At Hoffman & Associates, we pride ourselves on having more than 30 years of daily courtroom experience to use when fighting for your rights. The potential consequences of a felony charge versus a misdemeanor charge are significant. Our knowledgeable Los Angeles defense attorneys know the most effective defense strategies to convince the prosecutor or judge to reduce your charge to a misdemeanor from a felony.

We work in courts throughout California and have offices conveniently located in Los Angeles and San Diego. A phone or office consultation is available to discuss your case and how our attorneys can help protect your freedom and reputation. Our reasonable rates and payment plans make it simple to get started with the legal help you need.


Los Angeles Office
5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2600
Los Angeles, California 90036
Phone: (323) 655-3900
Fax: (323) 315-2412

San Diego Office
12707 High Bluff Drive, Suite 200
San Diego, California 92130
Phone: (760) 942-0069
Fax: (760) 942-1067