Articles Posted in Criminal Defense Guidance

In California, certain offenses are considered a “wobbler.”  This simply means that there are criminal code sections which make it possible for a prosecutor to charge and individual with an infraction or misdemeanor offense, or a misdemeanor or felony offense.  A felony charge is the most serious, incurring the harshest penalties for those convicted.  If your charge is under a wobbler, could it be good news?  We’ll discuss it below.

How does a prosecutor determine whether to charge the client with a misdemeanor or felony?

In wobbler cases, the prosecutor will determine whether to charge you with a misdemeanor or felony based on your criminal history, the specific details in your case, and other factors.  For example, if the crime is considered violent or severe, it’s likely the prosecutor will feel the crime deserves harsh punishment.  However, if it is a first offense and mitigating facts exist that would eliminate or lessen your responsibility in the crime, he/she may decide to charge you with a misdemeanor.

When you are accused of a criminal offense in Los Angeles or nearby counties of Orange, Riverside, Ventura, or San Bernardino, it’s important you take certain steps to ensure you’re doing all possible to obtain positive results.  Here are a few steps our Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys recommend you take:

  • Act immediately to secure legal representation.  Do not put it off, as hiring the right lawyer is possibly the most important step you will take in protecting your legal rights, career, and freedom.  Consider such factors as the attorney’s level of experience, focus of his/her legal practice, and whether the attorney seems to be solidly in agreement with your goals.
  • Refrain from speaking with law enforcement or making statements.  It’s human nature to want to defend yourself, however it’s important you don’t when it comes to law enforcement.  Do not speak with the California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, loss prevention officers – anyone – without first speaking to your lawyer.  It is best to let your attorney speak for you, as he/she knows how to speak without putting your future and freedom at further risk by making statements which you may not realize yourself are incriminating.
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