Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor P.C. 17(b)

California Penal Code 17(b) allows for certain felonies to be reduced to a misdemeanor, either before sentencing or after sentencing.  The timing of a felony reduction may be critical in the future.  For example, a Terrorist Threat (threat to kill someone) per P.C. 422 is a “strike” offense if charged as a felony.  If the felony 422 is reduced to a misdemeanor “prior to” the guilty plea, then it is a non-strike. 

Also, reducing a felony to a misdemeanor after probation is terminated may be critical to obtaining employment.  Most employers don’t want convicted felons working for them.  Convicted felons may present insurance liability issues and bad publicity.  Most potential employers aren’t going to ask you your side of the story about a felony terrorist threat in an employment interview…because you probably won’t get the interview.  Having it reduced to a misdemeanor and subsequently expunged avoids missed opportunities and awkward conversations. 

Don’t try to get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor by yourself.  If the judge denies your request per P.C. 17(b) then you’ll most likely have to wait a long while before you can raise the request again.  When I file a 17(b) request, I anticipate opposition.  Often times a prosecutor will file a “Motion in Opposition to 1203.2/17(b).”  You have to be prepared to competently and articulately respond to this opposition.  I am always ready and my fees are reasonable.

Give me a call and I’d be happy to discuss with you how I can help you get your felony reduced to a misdemeanor .

Attorney E. Cook

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