Can You Get a Felony Reduced to a Misdemeanor?
The hallmark of an excellent criminal defense lawyer is their determination to constantly pursue justice on behalf of their clients.
Whenever possible, this means working to have their client's charges reduced or dismissed altogether.
Regarding a reduction in felony charges, specifically, it is possible for an Arizona criminal defense lawyer to get felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor.
Here are a few important points to know regarding the reduction of an Arizona felony.
Class VI Undesignated Felonies
The state of Arizona uses six classes of felonies, with Class 6 felonies being the lowest level felony offense.
Like any other felony, it i6 undesignated felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor.
The reason this is possible is found within the meaning of the term "undesignated".
An undesignated offense means that the offense in question can result in either a felony or a misdemeanor on the defendant's record.
By law, however, a Class 6 undesignated felony is still treated as a felony until it is "designated" as otherwise.
For example, successfully meeting the terms of probation could lead to a Class 6 felony being reduced to a misdemeanor.
Reducing a Class 6 felony in this way first requires successfully negotiating a plea agreement.
Negotiating Plea Agreements
A plea agreement occurs when a defendant pleads guilty to an undesignated felony.
While this may seem like a terrible idea, it is often in the defendant's best interests if the facts are not in doubt.
It is possible for defendants to enter into a plea agreement that allows the undesignated felony to be reduced to a misdemeanor if probation terms are met.
Still, this requires following through on all aspects of the probation terms.
Whether those terms include meeting with the probation officer regularly or taking drug tests, every provision must be met to get the charges reduced.
This is why you need a lawyer to help negotiate on your behalf since your attorney can help you avoid entering into probation with terms that are unreasonable or too difficult to meet.
It is also worth noting that defendants with a prior felony conviction are generally not eligible for a plea agreement.
As such, this means that prior felons will generally have a difficult time getting a Class 6 undesignated felony reduced to a misdemeanor.
This is not to say all hope is lost though.
It is still possible to have charges dismissed entirely if you are innocent, which is why defendants need an Arizona criminal defense lawyer capable of providing a strong legal defense in court.
Other Ways to Get a Felony Reduced to a Misdemeanor
While a plea agreement is a common way to get a felony charge reduced in Arizona, it is not the only way.
An Arizona criminal defense lawyer can negotiate a misdemeanor without the need for a plea agreement by showing there are problems with the prosecution's case and/or highlighting procedural issues.
Similarly, your lawyer can get the charge reduced to a misdemeanor right off the bat if the offense is a low level felony and it is the defendant's first offense.
Benefits of Getting a Felony Charge Reduced
Regardless of how the charges get reduced, it is important to find a lawyer who will get a felony reduced whenever possible.
Benefits of getting a felony reduced include:
Obtaining professional licenses
Restoring gun rights
The ability to serve on juries
Not having job searches or loan requests negatively affected
If you have been charged with a felony and want to know if it can be reduced, contact Tyler Allen Law Firm, PLLC for a legal consultation.