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What is a Wobbler Charge in California?

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

Facing criminal charges can be a terrifying experience. But what if you don’t even know whether you are facing a misdemeanor or a felony? This is the unfortunate reality that scores of Californians find themselves in every year. Fortunately, by retaining an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, you can protect your rights and ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible.

What is a Wobbler?

wobbler charge refers to a criminal offense that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. The decision of whether to charge a wobbler offense as a felony or a misdemeanor lies with the prosecutor.

Why are they called wobbler charges? Well, it’s because the charges can “wobble” between being treated as either a felony or a misdemeanor. This flexibility allows the prosecutor to consider the unique circumstances of each case and determine the most appropriate level of punishment.

Examples of Crimes that are Wobblers in California

In California, there are a wide variety of crimes that can be considered wobblers. Some of the most common wobbler crimes include:

  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Sexual battery
  • Assault with a deadly weapon (ADW)
  • Statutory rape
  • Child endangerment
  • Spousal battery
  • Lewd acts with a minor
  • Making criminal threats
  • Burglary
  • Forgery
  • Grand theft
  • Stalking
  • Carrying a loaded firearm in public

It’s crucial to note that the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history are significant factors in determining whether a wobbler charge will be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor.

How Can a Lawyer Help You if You are Facing a Wobbler

One of the main ways a lawyer can help is by presenting a strong defense and advocating for the charges to be reduced to a misdemeanor. They can thoroughly examine the facts and circumstances of your case, gather evidence, and build a compelling argument in your favor. By highlighting mitigating factors, such as your clean record, cooperation with law enforcement, or positive contributions to society, they can persuade the prosecutor to consider a misdemeanor charge instead.

Furthermore, an experienced lawyer can also explore alternative resolutions to your case. They may negotiate for a plea bargain or diversion program that can help you avoid a felony conviction altogether. This can have significant long-term implications, as a felony conviction can result in severe consequences, such as lengthy prison sentences, loss of certain rights, and difficulties in finding employment.

Call an Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing criminal charges in Orange County, California and need trusted legal representation, turn to the Law Offices of William Bruzzo. Mr. Bruzzo has been successfully representing clients in Southern California for decades, focusing his practice on criminal law. Whether you are facing a wobbler charge or any other criminal offense, we are here to help. Call the Law Offices of William Bruzzo at (714) 547-4636 or contact us online for a consultation today.

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