Individuals convicted of a felony unfortunately face many obstacles that limit their ability to fully participate in society. These individuals may have a difficult time obtaining employment, finding housing, and obtaining public benefits. Moreover, individuals convicted of a felony in the State of California are prohibited from lawfully possessing a firearm.
All hope is not lost, however. Convicted felons can petition a court to reduce their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This relief is particularly beneficial to people seeking employment, or those who wish to restore their gun ownership rights. A felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor by filing a motion pursuant to Penal Code § 17(b) ("17b Motion"). A 17b Motion can eliminate a felony off of an individual's criminal record and also restore gun ownership rights.
Individuals convicted of a felony can reduce a felony to a misdemeanor if: (1) the felony is a "wobbler" offense; and (2) probation was granted (i.e., you were not sentenced to state prison). A "wobbler" offense is an offense that is punishable as either a felony or misdemeanor. The number of wobbler offenses is too extensive to list here. However, some common wobbler offenses are:
- Penal Code ("PC") § 192(c)(1) Vehicular manslaughter, w/o drugs or alcohol, but w/gross neg;
- PC § 192(c)(3) Vehicular manslaughter, w/drugs or alcohol, but w/o gross neg;
- PC § 243(d) Battery against person resulting in serious BI;
- PC § 243.4(a)-(d) Sexual battery;
- PC § 245(a)(1) Assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm or assault w/force likely to produce GBI on person;
- PC § 273a(1) Willful cruelty to child;
- PC § 273.5 Inflict traumatic injury on spouse or cohabitant;
- PC § 422 Criminal threats of violence;
- PC § 461(2) Burglary second degree;
- PC § 487(1) Grand theft;
- PC § 487(2) Grand theft person;
- PC § 496(a) Receiving stolen property;
- PC § 503 Embezzlement; and
- PC § 12021(d) Possession of firearm in violation of condition of probation
If you were convicted of a wobbler felony and placed on probation, you are eligible for a 17b Motion. If a court grants your 17b Motion, your record will no longer reflect that you were convicted of a felony, and you may also lawfully possess a firearm.
If you are located in Riverside County, Temecula, Murrieta, Moreno Valley, Perris, Hemet, San Jacinto, Wildomar, Menifee, or any other nearby location, and are interested in reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, please feel free to give me a call or fill out the case evaluation form below.