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Felony DUI and Motion to Reduce to Misdemeanor


A conviction for a felony DUI carries with it serious consequences independent of the actual court penalties. A felony conviction will end many job opportunities. However, a felony conviction does not need to remain a felony conviction forever. Upon successful completion of court mandated penalties, a motion to reduce the felony to a misdemeanor may be made.

Penal Code 17b allows a judge discretion to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction. The Judge will take into account the facts and circumstances of the original allegations, including the seriousness of any injuries caused to a victim. The Judge will also take into account the defendants character, history and demeanor, including any remorse shown. Most importantly, the defendant must have completed all court ordered penalties and must have no new arrests.

If a motion to reduce a felony DUI conviction to a misdemeanor is granted, the Judge then has discretion to consider a Petition to Expunge the misdemeanor conviction. Upon successful completion of probation, the court can allow the defendant to withdraw his or her plea of guilty, enter a not guilty plea and have the case dismissed pursuant to Penal Code 1203.4. Only a misdemeanor conviction may be expunged in this way, so it is necessary for a motion to reduce to a misdemeanor be granted first.

Following a motion to reduce and a motion to dismiss, any defendant may then represent that he or she no longer has a conviction either for a felony or a misdemeanor, thereby re-opening doors to career opportunities again.

If you have a felony DUI conviction and you are interested in filing a motion to reduce to a misdemeanor and then a motion to dismiss, please call Los Angeles Felony DUI Lawyers Gold & Witham for a free case evaluation.