There is a informal legal term that is used by legal professionals called a “wobbler”. A wobbler is a charge that can be charged as a misdemeanor, felony or an infraction. Essentially, the decision is up to the prosecutor. A wobbler also has room to be changed through negotiation with the prosecutor. This is why it is essential and important to have a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer on your team. It ensures that you are fully aware of all strategies and tactics to use to ensure that if there is a possibility to have a charge reduced, it is.
Lets consider an example to better demonstrate how a wobbler works. Danny was helping a friend who was highly intoxicated outside of a bar one night. Danny has an open beer in his hand. Officers charged both Danny and his friend with a misdemeanor drunk and disorderly conduct. Danny has a very clear record, with no prior offenses, charges, or even traffic tickets. Danny was also not being disorderly, although he was intoxicated in front of the bar. Although Danny may meet the elements for a potential charge, his behavior does not give rise to that of a misdemeanor.
Danny hires a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to help argue his case. The attorney goes into court on the first appearance, which is an arraignment. The attorney has over 30 years of experience and is knowledgeable on all elements of various criminal charges, as well as the evidence required to prove those elements. The attorney also knows the prosecutor and the Judge in the courtroom where the case is being heard. The attorney goes into court prepared with evidence, arguments, as well as letters of recommendation from the community for David. He speaks to the prosecutor and presents David’s case. The attorney will argue the shortcomings prosecutor’s will have in evidence, as well as play up the points the attorneys knows the Judge will find noteworthy.
After discussions and negotiations, the attorney states that he will speak to David about entering a plea of guilty, if prosecutors reduce the charge to that of an infraction. An infraction is like a traffic ticket. It does not go on your record, it does not need to be reported, and usually only entails a minimum fine as a consequence. This is ideal for David if the case cannot be dismissed. In light of the strong evidence and argument made by David’s attorney, prosecutors agree. They get a case closed, and David is not unnecessarily charged with a misdemeanor.
If you find yourself facing criminal charges, remember that they could be a wobbler. If so, there is lots of room for argument. Speak to a legal professional as soon as possible so that you can ensure your case has the best possible chances of being dismissed, or in the very least, reduced. Don’t take a chance on your future, act quickly and efficiently, and get your case closed as soon as possible!