I have had a lot of clients seeking to clear their criminal record. These are actually some of my favorite cases (and clients). A San Diego Expungement is key in the criminal process. They are usually clearing their record because they are ready to move on from that chapter in their lives, or they are applying for a new job or school.
If someone successfully completes probation and all the terms along with it, they should almost always immediately seek a San Diego expungement.
There are classes of persons seeking expungement:
1. Felony Expungement and individual was sentenced to prison.
2. Felony, Misdemeanor, or Infraction Expungement and individual pled to a “Wobbler” and did not go to prison.
3. Pled to “Straight Felony” and did not go to prison.
It is those who pled to a “straight felony” that I will discuss here.
A Straight Felony is a felony that cannot be made a misdemeanor. As a former Deputy District Attorney and Former City Attorney, I have argued that individuals were not entitled to reduction because the charge was a “straight felony”. It was very burdensome to achieve a San Diego Expungement.
Now that I am running my own firm I have researched the subject further. Many people don’t know about the “ wobbler.” Now, if you would have just read a little into the Penal Code you would have discovered it.
The code states, “Every offense which is prescribed by any law of the state to be a felony punishable by imprisonment or by a fine, but without an alternate sentence to the county jail for a period not exceeding one year, may be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or by a fine, or by both.”
I will use PC114 as a prime example of a “secret wobbler.”
PC 114 states, “Any person who uses false documents to conceal his or her true citizenship or resident alien status is guilty of a felony, and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for five years or by a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
Notice that PC114 is punished by imprisonment in the state prison or by a fine and does not list an alternate sentence to county jail, thereby having it fall directly into the definition of the “ Wobbler”
So, when the DA says that your client is stuck with a felony, you can tell them “not so fast” and teach them about “secret wobblers.” It affords relief to those people who have done what society has asked of them and are ready to move on.
If you or anyone you know has a question about secret wobblers or other felony or misdemeanor cases, please contact the Law Offices of Mark Deniz at (858) 751-4384.
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