If someone is charged with a Felony in the second and has a previous record, how do you drop the felony charge to a misdemeanor?

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If someone is charged with a Felony in the second and has a previous record, how do you drop the felony charge to a misdemeanor?

Asked on March 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

Robert Pellinen / Law Offices of Robert Pellinen

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Whether to charge a misdemeanor or felony is up to the district attorney.  If he can charge one or the other, this is called a "wobbler." Frequently the d.a. will charge a felony in the first instance in order to justify a warrantless arrest or search, for example.  Or he may not want to have you release on your own recognisance, which is mandatory on a misdemeanor in many states. Since this is a felony and therefore a supposed to be a serious offense, ask that the court toappoint an attorney for your and he can negotiate with the district attorney. There are some offenses, however, that cannot be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor or infraction. Depending on your criminal record, if any, and your roots in the community, what's a stake, whether it's a violent crime, are all factors that the People will consider. If it's a property crime, you may even be able to get the court to allow you to enter into a civil compromise, where the criminal charges are dismissed, but you have reimburse the "victim" for all damages.

I hope this information is helpful to you.


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