Retain Rights with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Most people recognize that a felony is a more serious offense than a misdemeanor, but many don’t realize the dramatically greater impact a felony conviction has on a person’s future. As a convicted felon, a person not only faces time in a state prison, but they also face the revocation of a number of rights and privileges. This may include not being able to hold certain jobs, not being allowed to own a gun, no longer qualifying for some public benefits and even facing travel restrictions enforced by other countries.

You Need a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney

This is where a skilled criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference. While felons face losing these rights, being convicted of a misdemeanor does not have the same life-altering outcome. For example, those convicted of misdemeanors usually do not have an issue with obtaining a new job or renting an apartment.

While some offenses are always going to be charged as a felony, many fall into a category known under California law as a wobbler. A wobbler can be considered either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the facts of the case, and the nature of the crime.

If the crime was especially aggravated or the accused has a lengthy criminal record, it is more likely that the prosecutor will choose to pursue a felony conviction. If it is a first offense or there is a strong defense in the case, a misdemeanor charge is more likely.

Grant Bettencourt  has helped hundreds of clients get their charges dismissed or reduced. If you are being charged with a crime, call for a consultation or fill out the Schedule an Appointment form anytime, seven days a week.

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Criminal Defense is Key to Possible Charge Reduction

A criminal defense attorney can play a key role in this process, including possibly having the charge reduced to a misdemeanor. For those already facing a felony charge, a strong defense presented by a skilled lawyer is the best way to avoid prison time and the loss of rights. It is the goal of any good criminal defense lawyer to defend clients aggressively in order to ensure the best outcome in the case.

In some cases, a criminal defense lawyer will even be able to get a charge reduced after the conviction. If an offense falls into the category that can be charged as a misdemeanor but is tried as a felony, California Penal Code 17(b) allows the charge to be reduced in some cases. In addition to allowing the convicted party to regain rights lost as a felon, this also opens the door for other opportunities.

Expunge Misdemeanor Records

Misdemeanor offenses appear on background checks, but few companies have hard and fast rules against hiring those convicted of a minor offense. In addition, unlike felonies, misdemeanor records can be expunged from a person’s criminal record under California Penal Code 1203. This prevents many of the negative consequences of a conviction from becoming a reality, including the conviction being used in hiring decisions or by landlords.

If you or a loved one faces a criminal charge in the state of California, it is important to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. We have offices located in Orange and Long Beach, California, for your convenience.

Make an appointment with The Law Offices of Grant Bettencourt today by calling (925) 788-7178, or scheduling an appointment online seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day.