Can a Felony Case Be Dropped Down to a Misdemeanor?
Some of my clients that have come into my office have been charged with felonies. After looking over their cases, doing research, and preparing their case, their felony can frequently be reduced to a misdemeanor. Some of the more common felony charges may be Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Assault family violence with strangulation, and even a DWI if it is your third or more. In a previous post, I talked about the legal process involved with felonies.
Felonies come with the potential of long jail sentences. Not only that, but the truth of the matter is, felony convictions come with many, many collateral consequences. These are the penalties over than jail, fines, or probation. These are your rights and privileges such as voting, gun ownership, immigration/deportation issues, professional licenses, housing and student loans to name a few. Whether you’re in Travis County, Williamson County, or any other county in Texas, a felony case can be dropped down to a misdemeanor.
So, can a felony case be dropped down to a misdemeanor?
Yes, yes it can. Felonies normally get dropped down to a misdemeanor through plea bargaining. A plea bargain is your lawyer’s chance to point out the holes and mistakes in the State’s case against you. If the police illegally searched your car, that will be brought up during plea bargaining. If the police collected evidence as a result of that illegal search, it may be inadmissible in Court. This can greatly strengthen your case, so long as you know what to look for and the Constitutional rules police are bound to follow.
More often than not, a misdemeanor charge is a lesser included offense of a felony. One example of this is when you see that someone is charged with “Attempt” or “Attempted.” By labeling a crime with the Attempt, the charge can be dropped down one level on the charge ladder. For example, a State Jail Felony of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, when changed to Attempted Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor.
What does this mean for you?
It means that you won’t be a convicted felon. You won’t have all the collateral consequences attached to taking a felony conviction. It also means that you’ll no long be exposed to the felony level risk of prison time. Many Texans enjoy their right to gun ownership. A felony conviction could prevent that forever. The risks with a felony charge are great. You want someone to carefully work on your case and keep you from being on the list of convicted felons.