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Escondido Felony Defense Attorney

Felony Defense Representation in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and Vista

A criminal offense may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the act and other aggravating circumstances. A misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to a year in jail, while a felony can lead to more than one year of incarceration. 

You must make every effort to avoid a felony conviction. With a permanent criminal record, convicted felons have a much harder time securing housing and employment opportunities. It is in your best interest to have a strong legal advocate fighting for you throughout the legal process. At Sterger Law Group, we listen to our clients and are committed to representing the little guy. No matter what you have been charged with, we can provide the aggressive and attentive legal support you deserve. We recognize what is at stake in these cases and will leverage the full extent of our experience, skills, and resources to pursue a favorable outcome. 

If you have been charged with a felony, call (760) 280-7900 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. Flexible payment options are available, and we offer our legal services in English and Spanish.

How Do Wobbler Offenses Work in California?

In many cases, California statute will determine whether a crime is prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony. Some offenses, however, are considered “wobblers,” meaning the prosecution has discretion in deciding whether to pursue misdemeanor or felony charges. 

When determining whether to pursue a wobbler offense as a misdemeanor or felony, the prosecutor will consider:

  • The circumstances of the case
  • The defendant’s criminal history

Examples of criminal offenses recognized as wobblers in California include:

  • Domestic battery 
  • Child endangerment
  • Stalking
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in public
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Burglary
  • Grand theft
  • Vehicular manslaughter

If your situation involves a wobbler, get in touch with our team at Sterger Law Group right away. We will work to negotiate misdemeanor charges versus felony charges. 

What Are the Penalties for Committing a Felony in California?

While any criminal conviction can seriously impact a person’s life, a felony can bring about especially severe consequences. Penalties will typically include fines of $10,000 or more and more than one year of incarceration. In some cases, a felony conviction can result in life imprisonment or even the death penalty (which is not currently enforced in California). 

Even after serving a sentence, a felony conviction will continue to have a negative effect on your life. A convicted felon may lose firearm rights and have a difficult time securing a favorable custody arrangement. Convicted felons may be required to disclose their criminal history when seeking jobs or housing, and a criminal record will show up in background checks.

The extent of the sentence, including provisions beyond incarceration, will depend on the specific statute and the decisions of the judge in your case. A strong legal defense can help you reduce the severity of the penalties or even avoid a conviction entirely. 

Our Escondido felony defense attorney can represent you in cases involving many types of charges, including:

  • Domestic ViolenceCorporal injury to a spouse or inhabitant is considered a felony in California. Criminal threats, stalking, child endangerment, and elder abuse can also become felonies.
  • Drug CrimesSome drug-related offenses, like drug trafficking and drug manufacturing, are always felonies. Others, such as possession with intent to sell, may be charged as a felony depending on the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved.
  • DUIDriving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be charged as a felony only if the motorist injures someone, has previously been convicted of felony DUI, or has been convicted of three or more misdemeanor DUI offenses in the preceding decade. 
  • Theft Crimes. Petty theft with a prior is a wobbler, so it could be charged as a felony. Grand theft is also a wobbler unless the offense involves a firearm, at which point it is automatically charged as a felony. First-degree burglary, which takes place in an inhabited residence, is always considered a felony, while second-degree burglary, which occurs anywhere else, is a wobbler.
  • Violent Crimes. All forms of homicide, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter, are considered felonies. Attempted murder is also always a felony. Arson becomes a felony if certain conditions are met. Kidnapping and robbery are always felonies in California.

Do not wait to discuss your legal options with our Escondido felony defense lawyer if you are facing criminal charges. Contact us online or call (760) 280-7900 to get started.