Do you think a “wobbler” is a
misdemeanor? How about a
Actually, it’s both.
In California, prosecutors have the choice of whether to charge a wobbler
as a misdemeanor of a felony. But even when they choose one over the other,
judges often have the final say. For instance, if a prosecutor charges
a wobbler as a felony, the judge can reduce it to a misdemeanor at sentencing.
Some of the most common California wobbler crimes include:
Additionally, there are a handful of crimes that are considered as “wobblettes.”
These are crimes that “wobble” between a misdemeanor and a
Common California “wobblette” offenses include:
- Disturbing the peace
- Driving without a license
- Criminal trespass
- Exhibition of speed
- Failure to appear for a traffic violation
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
California law did not establish standards for how a prosecutor should
charge a wobbler. Rather, the decision remains within the prosecution’s
discretion. However, prosecutors typically determine how to charge a wobbler
in accordance with Uniform Crime Charging Standards published by the California
District Attorneys Association (CDAA).
The CDAA recommends that prosecutors consider all of the following factors:
- The severity of the crime
- The defendant’s criminal history
- The defendant’s cooperation with police
- The defendant’s age
- The probability of continued criminal conduct by the defendant
- The strength of the prosecutor’s case
- Whether the defendant is eligible for probation
Most misdemeanors in California can be punished by up to six months in
jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Ventura County,
request a free consultation with our
Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney at
Appel & Morse today.