What is felony reduction under PC 17(b)?
Being convicted of a felony in California can carry a huge stigma and can prevent you from gaining employment and professional licenses. California Penal Code 17(b) allows anybody convicted of a felony "wobbler" offense to petition the court to have the felony reduced to a misdemeanor. PC 17(b) only has three requirements that must met for your felony to be eligible for reduction:
- 1The felony conviction must be what is known as a "wobbler."
- 2You must have been given probation, and not sent to state prison. If you served any time in state prison you are not eligible to reduce your felony. County jail is not state prison.
- 3If you were convicted of any other felonies in the same case, then all felonies must be eligible for reduction or none of them are.
A California felony "wobbler" offense is any offense that can be charged and sentenced as either a felony or misdemeanor, the determination of which is up to the discretion of the district attorney and the judge during your original case.
If your felony is eligible for reduction to a misdemeanor, the judge will then consider a PC 17(b) petition to reduce your felony. The judge will consider the following factors in his deliberations:
- 1The nature and seriousness of the underlying offense
- 2Your overall compliance with your probation terms and conditions
- 3Your overall criminal history (are you a repeat offender or somebody that just made an isolated mistake)
- 4Your personal history (are you a productive member of society, etc.)
Generally if your felony is eligible for reduction we find that most judges are willing to grant the reduction relief. Once your felony has been reduced to misdemeanor under PC 17(b) your conviction will be treated as a misdemeanor for all extensive purposes, which means often your California guns rights will be restored.
NOTE: Although there is a popular misperception that you lose your right to vote once convicted of a felony, this is a false belief. You only lose your right to vote when you are actually incarcerated in state prison or on active parole, otherwise you have the right to partake in elections.
We are also able to file a petition for expungement at the same time we file the reduction petition, which allows the judge to rule on both petitions at the same time. More often than not the judge will grant the felony reduction and then will grant the expungement petition which then expunges the conviction which was just reduced to a misdemeanor. This process offers maximum relief. When you purchase our felony expungement service we file the PC 17(b) felony reduction petition for free if your felony is eligible.
Law Firm Specializes In PC 17(b) Petitions
Fresh Start Law Center focuses solely on California expungement laws and has handled many PC 17(b) petitions for clients throughout the state of California. We pride ourselves on providing ultra specialized legal services and impeccable customer service all at the lowest guaranteed fixed prices. We are here to answer any questions you might have, and we greatly look forward to assisting you with your case.
David Huffman, Esq.
Founding Attorney, Fresh Start Law Center