As someone who stands accused of a serious crime, such as California DUI, domestic violence or a drug crime, you understandably (and logically) fear potential punishments, such as REAL JAIL TIME, loss of your license, destruction of your personal reputation, massive fines and fees, and insurance rate spikes. On the other hand, you've researched your charge online and discovered that California law considers it a "wobbler."
What are wobblers, exactly? How can you use this legal diagnosis to make effective decisions?
Wobblers are crimes that can be charged either as misdemeanors or as felonies. Many factors distinguish between misdemeanors and felonies. Both crimes can land you jail time, but a misdemeanor can only be punished by a year behind bars or less. A felony, however, can be punished with a multi-year jail sentence. In addition, convicted felons suffer problems that carry over into the "real world" in diverse ways. For instance, you will lose your right to vote and lose government and military clearances. You might find it harder to get employment or find housing.
The following factors will influence whether your charge "wobbles" your way, including:
- Whether this is your first offense or whether you have a prior criminal history;
- Whether you committed other crimes in conjunction;
- The degree to which you can challenge prosecution's case by, for instance, providing eyewitness testimony and other evidence in your favor;
- Whether you can challenge police accounts of what happened or even challenge the Constitutionality of your stop and arrest.
The quality of your legal representation can also play a profound role. Call Christopher Martens for smart, effective and powerful criminal defense help. We aggressively fight California wobbler crime cases in Tulare Superior Court 221, South Mooney Boulevard.