How a Felony Can Be Reduced to a Misdemeanor

Nobody wants to be convicted of a crime, but some situations are wrose than others. A misdemeanor is better than a felony. Many people consider misdemeanors “minor crimes.” They don’t affect a person’s social life, employment and other rights and freedoms that we enjoy as Americans too much. In fact, 30 percent of Americans have criminal records—which includes an arrest even if there was no conviction. To put this in perspective, this is the same amount of Americans who have college degrees.

Is there any way, then, to get a felony reduced? Basically, you have to be accused of a “wobbler” crime—a crime that would be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Drug crimes, theft and DUI charges often fall under this category, while a violent crime like rape or murder likely would not be reduced to a misdemeanor in any case.

Reducing a Felony to a Misdemeanor

How to Get a Felony Reduced

No matter how badly you want to reduce your crime, you cannot make that decision. The court is the decision maker in this case. It is up to your lawyer to present a strong enough case that will cause the judge to be lenient on you. If you are a first-time offender, for instance, you have a better chance of getting your conviction reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

If you are on probation or under court supervision before your court date, and displayed good behavior during that time, then the judge may grant you some leniency as well. Any aggravating factors that apply in your case could affect you as well. For example, drug trafficking or targeting minors would be more problematic than someone who had a large amount of a certain drug but was not looking to sell it.

According to New York Consolidated Laws, Criminal Procedure Law – CPL § 180.50, the criminal court along with the district attorney will look at the facts and evidence and have the authority to determine whether or not a charge can be reduced from a felony to non-felony offense. To reduce a felony to a lesser charge, the district attorney will be directed to file the prosecutor’s information with the court. The defendant will also be requested to file paperwork and any supporting information charging the defendant with a non-felony offense. The complaint is then converted from a felony to a non-felony charge.

Charged With a Crime? Contact the Law Offices of George Vomvolakis Today

If you are facing criminal charges, it’s best to see if you can get your charge reduced to a misdemeanor, if possible. Those convicted of felonies face harsh restrictions and you’ll have a better chance of employment with a misdemeanor on your criminal record. George Vomvolakis is a criminal defense lawyer who will protect your legal rights and help you obtain the best outcome possible. To request a free, no-obligation review of your case, call us today at (212) 682-0700 or complete our short online contact form.