17(b) Motion – What Is It?
A 17(b) motion is a process which allows many felony convictions to be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction pursuant to section 17(b) of the Penal Code. Pursuant to the statute, a successful 17(b) motion reduces the felony conviction to a misdemeanor for all purposes. In many instances, the Law Office of Philip Hache can help get your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.
A Felony record can be a huge obstacle to overcome in employment, because employment applications often ask whether or not you are a convicted felon. Felony convictions can also cause negative implications with housing, licenses and social services. A misdemeanor record, while still serious, does not interfere with as many opportunities.
Further, a felony record can mean greater punishment for future convictions, or make negotiating with a prosecutor more difficult on future charges. Moreover, depending on the statute convicted of and the terms of sentencing, a former felon can gain back their gun rights by way of a successful 17(b) motion.
17(b) Motion – What factors does the Court Consider?
There are several factors within the judge’s discretion to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to 17(b). Some of these factors considered include severity of the offense, criminal history, and efforts at rehabilitation. There are also some requirements in order to be eligible for relief by way of a 17(b) motion.
1) The conviction must be a “wobbler” offense, meaning the criminal code section you were convicted under could be charged as a felony OR a misdemeanor;
2) You did not serve any time in prison for your felony, or in jail under 1170(h) (realignment);
3) You did not serve any time in jail for more than one year (if a juvenile).
As long as the above requirements are in order, then you are eligible for a 17(b) motion. The rest is up to an experienced California expungement attorney to convince the court to grant your motion.
It is within the judge’s discretion to grant a 17(b) motion to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor. That being said, there are a couple of requirements in order for a 17(b) motion to be granted, including:
1) The conviction is of a criminal code section that could be charged as a felony OR a misdemeanor, often referred to as a “wobbler” offense;
2) You were not sentenced to state prison, or in jail under realignment, Section 1170(h) (note that jail and prison are different).
The Law Office of Philip D. Hache can help Your 17(b) Motion
My law office is dedicated to helping you get your 17(b) motion granted. Call (818) 336-1384 for a free consultation directly with me (Philip Hache, Attorney) or fill in the contact form and I will follow up with you.