Reducing a Felony Grand Theft Conviction to a Misdemeanor – PC 487(a)

January 21, 2023

In California, a felony conviction for grand theft, as defined by Penal Code 487(a), can be reduced to a misdemeanor under certain circumstances. This process is governed by Penal Code 17(b).

The primary reason for reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor is to alleviate the harsh consequences that come with a felony conviction. These consequences can include the loss of certain rights, such as the right to vote or own a firearm. A misdemeanor conviction, on the other hand, carries less severe penalties, such as a shorter jail sentence and smaller fines.

To be eligible for a reduction of sentence, an individual must have completed their period of probation, and not be currently serving a sentence for any other crime. Additionally, the individual must not have been convicted of certain serious crimes, such as murder or sex offenses.

The process of reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor typically begins with the individual filing a petition with the court. The petition must include the individual’s personal information, such as their name and date of birth, as well as information about the conviction, such as the date of conviction and the specific criminal charge. The individual will also be required to pay a filing fee, which can vary depending on the jurisdiction.

Once the petition is filed, the court will schedule a hearing, at which the individual will have an opportunity to explain why they believe the conviction should be reduced to a misdemeanor. The prosecution will also have an opportunity to object to the reduction if they believe it is not in the best interests of justice.

At the hearing, the court will consider a variety of factors in determining whether to grant the reduction petition. These factors may include the individual’s character and rehabilitation, the nature of the crime, and the length of time that has passed since the conviction. The court will also consider any objections raised by the prosecution, and will ultimately decide whether to grant or deny the reduction of sentence.

If the reduction is granted, the court will issue an order reducing the individual’s conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor. The individual’s sentence will also be reduced accordingly, and the individual will no longer be considered a convicted felon. They will also be able to regain certain rights that were lost as a result of their felony conviction, such as the right to vote or own a firearm.

It’s important to note that the reduction does not completely erase the conviction, it only changes the classification of the conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor. The conviction may still be considered in future sentencing if the individual is convicted of a new crime. Additionally, the reduction of sentence may not be enough to prevent the conviction from being considered in certain situations, such as when applying for certain types of jobs or licenses, such as those in the legal or medical fields.

Contact Us for Help in Southern California

If you were convicted of grand theft and are seeking to reduce the conviction to a misdemeanor, then give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call. Contact us to schedule a free confidential consultation to discuss your options. Attorney John D. Rogers is a board-certified criminal law specialist by the State Bar of California. He routinely represents clients charged with theft crimes in both state and federal court.

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