Is there anything I can do about getting rid of a felony conviction on my record? – California Penal Code Section 17(b)
It is possible to reduce your felony conviction to a misdemeanor. This can be achieved through something called a “17(b) motion.” Reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor has many benefits:
• You can say that you have not been convicted of a felony on job, school, housing, or loan applications
• You can regain your ability to own a gun
• You would be able to vote and serve jury duty
To qualify for a reduction pursuant to a 17(b) motion, the offense must have been a “wobbler” and probation must have been granted.
To be clear, a wobbler is a crime that can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your criminal record and the facts of the case. Therefore, crimes that can only be prosecuted as felonies cannot be reduced to misdemeanors. If the felony that you were convicted of could have been prosecuted as a misdemeanor, you would qualify for a 17(b) reduction. Otherwise, you would not.
To be granted probation means that you have been allowed to serve your sentence outside of jail. However, you would need to abide by certain court-ordered conditions and you may be required to report to a probation officer. Probation must have been granted in order to qualify for a 17(b) motion. This means that if you had served any time in state prison for your felony conviction, you will not qualify.
You will certainly need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you achieve a felony reduction, especially if the prosecution is going to oppose it. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been in practice for over 30 years and can help you achieve the best possible results. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at www.wklaw.com. We will be there for you when you call.