Can a Felony be Reduced to a Misdemeanor?
While being charged with any crime is not ideal, being charged with a felony offense with having a more lasting and significant impact on your life than a misdemeanor. In some cases, a felony can be reduced to a misdemeanor with certain crimes that are a bit on-the-fence, or ones that can be classified and charged as either type of offense. Knowing your options and having proper representation in these cases is critical to your quality of life thereafter.
Once charged with a felony, you will find many obstacles in your path to getting your life back on track. With a felony, you are more likely to face jail time, pay higher fines to the court, and have a hard time getting a good-paying job. There are even regulations on housing that may cause you not to be able to move to a certain neighborhood due to your criminal record, which would not be the case if your felony had been dropped to a misdemeanor charge.
What to do to Reduce a Felony Charge?
While it is not always possible for a felony charge to be reduced to a misdemeanor, these steps will greatly impact your chances of having charges reduced.
- Seek legal counsel.
- With an experienced law professional on your side, your chances of reducing your charge are greatly increased. Our attorneys know the system and with a no-cost consult can advise on the best plan of action once you are charged with an offense. There is paperwork that must be filed with the district attorney, prosecutor, and by the defendant in order to reduce any charges. Panghetti Law can assist with this process and knows the ins and outs in order to make the process as painless as possible.
- Refraining from additional criminal offenses after the first charge.
- It is more likely for a judge to show leniency to a first-time offender than one with repeat offenses. If you are placed on probation after being charged, there will often be a stipulation or suspended sentencing which could cause the charge to either be dismissed or turn into jail time depending on your behavior while on probation.
- Drug-related rehab or assistance for lesser charges.
- If you have been charged with drug-related charges and seek rehabilitation without it being court mandated judges are more likely to see that you are willing to make a change and hit you with a lesser offense. This shows that you are serious about making a change and are willing to take the needed action without being forced to do so.
Why is a Misdemeanor Better than a Felony?
Understand the difference between misdemeanors and felonies. When faced with a felony, the charges will remain on your record for seven years. Convicted felons lose many rights, and their lives are directly impacted by these charges. Even if you do not see jail time for a felony, the effects can last and be damaging to you and your family. Some of the risks you take when not fighting to reduce your charge include:
- Prison time
- Loss of housing
- Loss of employment
- Losing the ability to vote in federal elections while serving time
- Many states permanently remove your right to vote in an election after being charged with a felony, but Pennsylvania is not one of them.