In accordance with criminal law, most of the offences are termed as either misdemeanors or felonies. In case of a felony, the criminal does a serious offence upon which he or she can be sent to jail as a punishment of one year or more. A misdemeanor, on the contrary, generally carries a punishment of a maximum of a year in jail.
So, if you have been prosecuted with a felony, there are ways to get it reduced to a misdemeanor through certain means.
However, in the case of a person being already convicted of a federal crime, the judges can do little under the federal sentence guidelines over the punishments. Hence, it is crucial for you or someone under prosecution to work with a well-experienced criminal defense advocate.
How many felonies can be reduced to a misdemeanor?
The most frequently asked question is, “how many felonies can be reduced to a misdemeanor?” Well, there are some convictions that are quite eligible to get reduced to misdemeanor from felony. These felonies include:
● Hit and run charge
● Driving a vehicle with a suspended license
● Possessing a stolen vehicle
However, this doesn’t stop here. Felony reduction is not restricted to only crimes related to driving. Along with these, most Class C felonies and Class B methamphetamine possession plus Class A felony racketeering are also likely to be eligible for a reduction of a felony.
Ways to Reduce Charges to Misdemeanor
A criminal attorney can try to accomplish the reduction of charges to misdemeanors by using these two typical strategies.
Plea Bargaining to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor
As long as you give approval, it is a common practice for the defense attorneys to settle an agreement with the court and the prosecutor to plead guilty to a lesser crime in return for a misdemeanor or drop other charges against you.
Although this means you have to serve some sort of punishment, still it will be much lesser than the charges that you could have convicted at prosecution. An experienced lawyer will also advise you to share information and cooperate with the authorities.
This is like the limited immunity agreements called “proffers” that lead to a drop or reduction in a penalty or a difference between jailed or not jailed. So, if you have been prosecuted with a felony charge, you may get it lessened to a misdemeanor through a plea bargain.
● Get a Knowledgeable Criminal Lawyer
Criminal defense lawyers with experience in plea negotiations will most probably have a prevailing work relationship with the prosecutor and the judge of the court.
● Enter “Not Guilty” plea
When you enter a “not guilty” plea at the first appearance in court, you will need the prosecution to prove you guilty in court. For avoiding trials and other overloads, the prosecutor may negotiate an agreement under which you can plead guilty in return for some reduction in sentence.
A well-experienced attorney knows the need of developing logical doubt about the case running against you is most vital for your protection. If your advocate can create a dispute against the evidence of the prosecutor, the charges can lead to a reduction or drop.
Again, if the offence is for the first time, a knowledgeable attorney may successfully convince the prosecutor to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. Your lawyer may submit a petition to the court to reduce the charge against your records.
● Confirm the availability of charge reduction
In some states, there is an option to seek the court to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor after serving a sentence.
● Complete all the essential paperwork
Know from the court clerks about the forms you have to submit in the court to appeal for reducing the charges to a misdemeanor. Fill up the information related to your case, punishment and the reason to seek a reduction in the charge. But don’t worry if you hire a knowledgeable lawyer, as your defense team will look into the matter.
● File Documents
Take several copies of the document and file the original documents with a fee. If you lack the amount needed to pay the fee, apply for a fee waiver.
● Serve and Attend
Since you cannot serve the prosecutor yourself, arrange a process server with nothing to do with the case. Finally, attend the case hearing and also prepare yourself to explain your need to reduce the felony conviction to a misdemeanor. If the judge grants your request, then your criminal record will get modified to a misdemeanor.