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Reduction of Criminal Charges: PC 17(b)

Crime and violence concept with handcuffs

When it comes to criminal charges, there is a big difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. In California, a misdemeanor is punishable by a year in the county jail at most, and not more than a $1,000 fine. A felony, on the other hand, is punishable in state prison, and depending on the charge, sentences can extended to life in prison or the death penalty, not to mention many thousands of dollars in fines.

Offenses are classified as misdemeanors or felonies by state law, but some offenses can be charged either way for various reasons. These are called “wobblers,” and while they give the prosecutor discretion to charge someone with a serious crime, they also provide an opportunity for a smart and strategic criminal defense lawyer to get the charge reduced. Learn more below about the reduction of criminal charges under California Penal Code 17(b), and contact Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney John Lueck if you’ve been charged with a felony or misdemeanor in San Bernardino County.

The Concept of a “Wobbler” in California Law

One of the crucial aspects of California’s criminal justice system is the concept of a “wobbler.” A wobbler is a criminal offense that can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on various factors such as the circumstances of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. This dual nature of wobblers provides a critical opportunity for negotiation and advocacy by a skilled defense attorney.

The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion

Prosecutorial discretion plays a significant role in determining how a charge is filed. The prosecutor assesses the details of the case and decides whether to pursue a misdemeanor or felony charge for a wobbler offense. This decision can have profound implications for the defendant, as felonies carry more severe penalties and long-term consequences compared to misdemeanors.

California Penal Code 17 and Charge Reduction

Under California Penal Code section 17, particularly 17(b), there is a legal framework for reducing a felony charge to a misdemeanor. This section allows for the reduction under certain conditions, such as after a preliminary examination, upon sentencing, or after the defendant has been granted probation without the imposition of a prison sentence. These conditions refer to the discretion of the court (the judge) on whether an offense is punishable as a misdemeanor felony. Another key provision specifies that an offense is a misdemeanor or felony depending on how the prosecuting attorney files the charge in court. The ability to leverage this provision is a critical aspect of a criminal defense attorney’s role in advocating for their client. In some instances, prior felony convictions can be reduced, and/or dismissed, to reduce the future consequences of a past conviction.

How Attorney John Lueck Can Help

John Lueck, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer based in Rancho Cucamonga, has extensive experience in navigating the complexities of the criminal justice system in San Bernardino County. By thoroughly analyzing the specifics of each case and leveraging his deep understanding of California’s legal statutes, including Penal Code 17(b), Attorney Lueck can effectively advocate for the reduction of charges from felonies to misdemeanors where possible.

His strategic approach involves investigating the facts, visiting and photographing the scene, interviewing witnesses, negotiating with prosecutors, presenting mitigating evidence, and highlighting factors that favor a lesser charge. This not only can result in reduced penalties but also can significantly impact the long-term consequences for the client, such as avoiding the stigma of a felony conviction and the associated restrictions on rights and freedoms.

Contact Attorney John D. Lueck for Strong and Effective Defense Against Misdemeanor and Felony Charges in Rancho Cucamonga and San Bernardino County

The journey through the criminal justice system can be daunting, but with the right legal representation, there are pathways to a more favorable outcome. For those facing criminal charges in San Bernardino County, attorney John Lueck’s expertise in criminal defense, coupled with his adept use of legal provisions like California Penal Code 17(b), can be instrumental in achieving charge reductions and safeguarding the future of his clients.

If you or a loved one are in need of legal assistance, don’t hesitate to call attorney John Lueck at 909-484-1963. You can also reach him directly on his cell phone at 909-646-2736. With his commitment to justice and his proven track record, you can trust in his ability to navigate the complexities of your case and strive for the best possible outcome.

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