Reducing a Felony Conviction to a Misdemeanor - Penal Code section 17(b)

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:

  1. Penal Code ("PC") § 192(c)(1) Vehicular manslaughter, w/o drugs or alcohol, but w/gross neg;
  2. PC § 192(c)(3) Vehicular manslaughter, w/drugs or alcohol, but w/o gross neg;
  3. PC § 243(d) Battery against person resulting in serious BI;
  4. PC § 243.4(a)-(d) Sexual battery;
  5. PC § 245(a)(1) Assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm or assault w/force likely to produce GBI on person;
  6. PC § 273a(1) Willful cruelty to child;
  7. PC § 273.5 Inflict traumatic injury on spouse or cohabitant;
  8. PC § 422 Criminal threats of violence;
  9. PC § 461(2) Burglary second degree;
  10. PC § 487(1) Grand theft;
  11. PC § 487(2) Grand theft person;
  12. PC § 496(a) Receiving stolen property;
  13. PC § 503 Embezzlement; and
  14. 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.  



Posted by Mike Donaldson.