A Guide for Your First Time Offender Felony California




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What Is a Felony Offense?


The term felony refers to a crime with high severity, whereas the term misdemeanor refers to less serious crimes. Felonies are crimes punishable by imprisonment in the state’s prison system for more than one year. Some felony offenses carry the death penalty. Felonies are typically classified as either violent or non-violent crimes.

A California first-time offender convicted of a felony offense may be sentenced to probation.

Being charged with a felony offense can be scary and stressful. You can benefit from the guidance and support of a skilled attorney when you need it. Consider contacting Rebecca Feigelson Law offices for a consultation.

First Time Offender Felony Charge Act in CA


Under the Federal First Offender Act, also known as FFOA, first-time offenders are eligible for special probation programs rather than a prison sentence. After felony probation is successfully completed, the charge and the arrest may be expunged.

In law, “first-time offenders” are people who have no prior criminal history and have been convicted for the first time of a legal offense. Because these individuals have never been convicted, they can bring forth mitigating factors throughout the legal process to argue for leniency.

This provides the person with a fresh start. To avoid a felony conviction, a first-time offender could seek the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer. Contact the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson to schedule a free consultation.

What Are the Three-Strike Laws in California?


California is one of the few states that has three-strike laws. When defendants are convicted of three or more violent or serious felonies, they are subject to California’s three-strikes law. This means that if someone commits a third felony, they are automatically sentenced to 25 years in prison to a life sentence for their fourth felony.

A seasoned DUI lawyer in California can explain the California felony sentencing guidelines. If you are a first-time offender, a qualified law firm can help you avoid a California felony conviction and a criminal record.

What Are the Penalties for a First-Time Felony Offender in California?


The state of California has many different laws and punishments for first-time offenders. The penalties vary depending on the nature of the crime.

An individual convicted of a misdemeanor may be sentenced to up to six months in county jail, fined up to $1,000, or both. The punishment for a felony may range from 16 months to 3 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, or both. Judges have the discretion to sentence defendants to formal probation for felonies.

California felony convictions may be reduced, or probation can be substituted for jail time. If you are a first-time offender without any criminal history, the prosecutor may not seek the maximum punishment, and the judge may be more inclined to be lenient on you.

Furthermore, if you are convicted and sentenced to life in prison but have no prior criminal history and have shown significant rehabilitation efforts while incarcerated, then the judge can offer a suspended sentence and probation under the supervision of a probation officer instead of years behind bars.

A qualified gun possession lawyer can offer resources and support. Contact the Law Office of Rebecca Feigelson today!

Defining Wobbler Crimes in California


Felonies are classified as either wobblers or straight felonies. A wobbler is an offense that can be charged as either a felony crime or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. The prosecutor takes into account the defendant’s prior convictions and the underlying circumstances, such as aggravating factors of the crime, when determining what level of charges to file.

A straight felony is an offense for which there can only be a felony charge and sentence, and there can be no reduction to a misdemeanor charge.

In a wobbler case, the preliminary hearing judge could reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor following arguments by the defendant’s lawyer.

The defendant will need to appear in court and may need to post bail if they are “held to answer” on the felony offense.

Can a Felony Be Dropped in California?


There are certain requirements and conditions that must be met for felony offenses to be reduced to misdemeanors. These are:

  • The crime was committed at least five years ago

  • The person has no pending criminal charges

  • The individual has not been convicted of any new crimes within the last five years

Although entering a guilty plea to felony crimes can result in a jail sentence, the court may grant probation depending on your prior record. Developing a strong attorney-client relationship with a reputable attorney can help you negotiate the case.

It is essential to consult with a law firm with experience in litigating criminal cases if you want to improve your chances in court. The right attorney may be able to help you obtain the most appropriate sentence for your situation.

A judge may be convinced that a lenient sentence, such as community service or probation, is appropriate with the help of an experienced attorney who has defended a number of California offenses.

Can an Attorney Help Plan Your California Felony Defense?


A criminal defense attorney offers legal advice and representation for those charged with crimes. A lawyer can help you plan your domestic violence defense, for example, by advising you on what to do and what not to do in certain situations.

A criminal defense attorney can be helpful. They can provide you with general information about the court process. In addition to providing tips on how to prepare for your trial, they can suggest defenses that might work in your case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.