Can a misdeamor be changed to a felony? 58 Answers as of July 04, 2013

Can a misdeamor be changed to a felony?

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Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
After conviction the answer is no. before conviction if they find out the facts fit the higher charge is answer is yes.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/14/2011
Law Offices of Carl Spector
Law Offices of Carl Spector | Carl Spector
There are certain circumstances that a misdemeanor can be elevated to a felony.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/14/2011
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
Yes but it must be supported by aggravating circumstances.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/13/2011
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
Yes, if the District Attorney decides to take the facts and change the charge to a felony. If the case is a wobler.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/13/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
That would depend upon the facts and circumstances of your individual case and what stage the case is in. In general though the answer is yes if the prosecutor has enough information to charge a felony.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/19/2011
    Giannini Law Office, PC
    Giannini Law Office, PC | Robert Giannini
    Well, maybe. In most arrest situations the arresting officer decides which charges to bring initially. But then the prosecuting attorney can amend, drop or add charges as he feels is appropriate. In example, if a 17 year old male has consensual sex with a 15 year old girl, the most likely charge would be statutory rape, which in this example would be a misdemeanor. But if the prosecuting attorney decides that the sex was by force, he could amend the charge to rape, which is a felony. Some offenses which would be misdemeanors on their face will be charged as felonies due to prior convictions. So, in this example a police officer arrests a person for the misdemeanor offense of theft by shoplifting for stealing a pack of chewing gum. However, the prosecuting attorney learns that the person has three prior misdemeanor shoplifting convictions, so she changes the charge to felony theft by shoplifting under a Georgia law that authorizes that.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Can a misdemeanor be changed to a felony? Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Osterman Law LLC
    Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
    Yes, it can, and it is likely in certain scenarios. For instance, you get charged with misdo DUI as a first offense. But 2 weeks later, they find 2 other arrests in Arizona. You have become a felony DUI. If you tell your lawyer about it, sometimes you c an take a plea before they figure it outbut even if they do, they can move to set it aside as an illegal sentence and add a larger misdo sentence but cannot upset the plea.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    It may be if the evidence supports probable cause for the felony. The law defines probable cause as "evidence to support a reasonable belief that a crime (here a felony) has been committed and the person charged committed that crime." Each crime has elements of the individual crime. If the facts alleged meet all of the elements, the charge may be upgraded to a felony. If one is faced with that situation, he or she may want to hurry up and plead guilty to the misdemeanor before felony charges are brought on the same conduct.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Generally, this does not happen. However, if through the course of representation certain new evidence comes to light that would cause a reclassification of the charge, it could happen. The reverse is far more frequent, and is often seen as part of certain plea negotiations.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    A criminal charge can be amended or changed at any time up to when a plea is entered or when a verdict is rendered. A prosecutor has the ability to dismiss a charge and refile another charge if the evidence supports it. Usually if a misdemeanor is charged, the prosecutor will not up the charge without first dismissing the first one. Many times a prosecutor will file a charge that may be less than the one which could have been charged, as a way to entice a plea. Many attorneys will recognize an under charged crime and counsel the client to plea before the prosecutor changes his mind. Once a plea has been entered, the prosecutor can no longer dismiss and up the charge.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    There are circumstances where, new information is discovered as a result of further investigation, a charge is dismissed in district or municipal court and refiled as a felony in Superior Court. This can also simply be an idle threat to leverage a guilty plea.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Anderson & Carnahan
    Anderson & Carnahan | Stephen Anderson
    Yes, depending on nature of the injury or the facts of the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    7-11-11A misdemeanor can be upgraded to a felony. Normally the State will dismiss the misdemeanor charge and recharge as a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Vermeulen Law office P.A.
    Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
    The prosecutor has authority to amend charges prior to trial. A misdemeanor charge can be amended to a felony charge if there is probable cause for a felony charge. Sometimes, an offense is initially charged as a misdemeanor before all the evidence is known or properly evaluated. An example of this is when a bar fight occurs and someone appeared to have simply gotten a black eye, it may appear to be a misdemeanor assault; however, if it turns out that the person got an orbital fracture or other eye injury, the charge would be amended to felony-level assault based on the degree of harm. Similarly, a DWI could be charged as a misdemeanor before the individual's prior record is fully known; it could be amended to a felony if it was later discovered that the person had 3 prior DWI's within the past 10 years. There are also other types of cases where a misdemeanor charge can be enhanced to a felony offense due to prior convictions. It is in your best interests to consult with and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney on your case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Harrison & Harrison
    Harrison & Harrison | Samuel Harrison
    Yes, if the prosecutor finds that the facts support a felony charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Thank you for your inquiry. Charges can be amened, so the answer is yes. However, the procedures are different and must be adhered to. You should consluld with your attorney to revies this and see whether there is some grounds to prevent the higher charges. I hope that this was helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    There are not enough facts for me to answer this question. It completely depends upon the circumstances and the offense.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    If you are accused of a misdemeanor offense, and you have not yet been had your jury trial, then in the discretion of the District Attorney they may raise the offense to a felony. However, for the DA to be able to do this, the crime you are accused of must be considered a "wobbler" offense. This means the DA could have filed the case originally as a felony or misdemeanor. You should contact our law office immediately if in fact the prosecution has elevated your crime from a misdemeanor to a felony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Yes. You will learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The prosecutor can amend at any time he feels he can prove additional or different charges. The charges determine how much prison time would be imposed if convicted. Plea bargaining is to reduce that. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence and facts are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. He will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Yes, if the prosecutor decides that there are facts sufficient to warrant recharging the offense as a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes, if the alleged facts support a felony charge, an amended information can be filed changing the initial misdemeanor charge to a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    Your question is too vague to answer accurately. There are some "wobblers" that can be felonies or misdemeanors. Can the prosecutor charge the felony, even if you were only arrested for a misdemeanor? Yes. Can it change after you're charged? Yes, but your lawyer should be fighting against any upgrade.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    It is possible that, if the state obtains sufficient (additional) facts, they may seek a felony indictment.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    Absolutely! The charges can be "amended" by the prosecutor at any time up until the trial. In fact, with the court's permission, if the evidence comes out differently during the trial, the prosecutor can even amend the charges at the end of trial! The significant to you of course is that you are looking at a much larger range of punishment, and the case may have been moved from municipal court up to circuit court (i.e. "big boy court").
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. Charges can be upgraded or new charges filed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I strongly advise to obtain a lawyer to assist you with this matter. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult privately with an attorney. This answer does not contain specific legal advice. Yes, depending on the factual circumstances, the prosecutor may amend the charge by changing a misdemeanor charge into a felony. However, usually the prosecutor will dismiss the misdemeanor first without prejudice first then re-file with the new felony charge. In Michigan, you have a right a "preliminary examination," if you are charged with a felony; hence, generally, the prosecutor will needs to start the process over if they wish to proceed in that manner.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    A crime that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony is known as a "wobbler". To answer your question, yes, a misdemeanor can be charged as a felony if that crime for which you have been arrested is a wobbler. Whether or not a wobbler is charged as a misdemeanor or felony depends on a large number of factors including, but not limited to, the type of crime, the facts of the case, any injuries to other parties, prior convictions for the same offense, the amount of monetary loss (for theft and fraud crimes), etc., etc., etc. The ultimate decision on how to file a wobbler is up to the prosecuting attorney's office. I hope this answer was helpful. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes, under certain circumstances. The answer can be technical. Talk to your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be arrested for a misdemeanor and then indicted on a felony. The DA can charge or amend to a felony if the facts make it out, and you can be charged with any crime that the DA feels can be proved as long as they have a supporting deposition that includes all the elements of the felony charged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    If there is proabable cause to support a felony charge, the charges may be amended right up to the pointof trial.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Yes, a charge can be changed after it is brought if more information is gained by the District Attorney. Technically, you can oppose the change and the DA can dismiss the original charge and bring the new charge, but either way, in the end, they can properly charge a defendant with the appropriate charge. If this is your situation, you should contact and retain a lawyer as soon as possible. Even a misdemeanor can have a terrible impact on your future and should not be taken lightly. However, a felony requires a submission of DNA and will be on your CORI (Criminal Offender Record of Information) for life and effect you in all sorts of ways. If you do not have a lawyer already and would like to discuss this in more detail you can reach me at the telephone numbers listed below. There is no fee for the telephone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/12/2011
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker
    Law Offices of Steven R. Decker | Steven Decker
    Yes, anytime before the start of trial. The statute of limitations for most felonies is 3 years. Often it is advisable to proceed to trial quickly on the misdemeanor if there is a real fear of the charges being increased.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    In some cases, yes, misdemeanors can be changed into felonies. Examples are Battery, theft, DUI and driving on revoked licenses. In fact, in traffic offenses, enhancements to felonies are quite common, if certain conditions apply, for example, DUI can be enhanced is the driver has no valid license or proof of insurance when stopped by the police.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    If it is the kind of misdemeanor than can also be a felony, yes, as long as it is amended before you are convicted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C.
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C. | Wayne Brucar
    Yes. Within the statute of limitations, a charge can be "enhanced" from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the elements of the offense or built in enhancing factors. For example, a misdemeanor retail theft can be enhanced to a felony if the accused has a conviction for a prior retail theft.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC
    Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC | Brandon Moffitt
    It depends on the alleged conduct. After a prosecutor reviews your case they can amend the charges to a felony even if the police initially identified the conduct as a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    If the facts support amending the charge to a felony the answer is yes - the prosecutor can always amend the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers
    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers | Andrew D. Myers
    There's no magic wand and the question can't be answered without knowing all of the facts in order that the allegations can be compared to the range of criminal laws that might apply. At that point a "plea bargain" may or may not be possible. But again, no attorney can answer this question in a vacuum until after talking to you and I highly recommend that you obtain a consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Yes, the state can choose to bring a case before a grand jury and seek an indictment for a felony.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "changed" into a felony. The prosecutor can always increase the charges if they believe the facts in the report or testimony on the record indicates such.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz
    Law Offices of Jacek W. Lentz | Jacek W. Lentz
    Once someone is accused of a misdemeanor, yes it is possible, although perhaps not very likely, that they prosecution could file felony charges based upon some new evidence or simple re-evaluation of the case. However, once a defendant pleads to a misdemeanor, the misdemeanor conviction cannot be magically upgraded to a felony. Felony charges can not be based on charges which have ended in the Defendant's pleading to a misdemeanor. Only evidence of new misconducted, which was not punished by the misdemeanor, can provide basis for new felony charges, A different situation exists with respect to reducing certain felony offenses to misdemeanors. There is a whole class of felonies, called wobblers, which can be reduced for all purposes to a misdemeanor following a successful completion of felony probation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    There are some crimes that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    If the facts support a higher charge, the prosecutor is usually free to amend a misdemeanor charge to a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/4/2013
    Law Office of Barry Melton
    Law Office of Barry Melton | Barry Melton
    The short answer to your question is yes, a misdemeanor may be amended to a felony if the charge is properly pled. No formal procedure is necessary if the amendment is made prior to the entry of a plea; however, once a plea is entered a formal motion is required (unless the parties stipulate otherwise).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    The case law in Massachusetts says that a criminal complaint cannot be amended "up" (including from a misdemeanor to a felony) over the objection of the defendant. This means that if charged with a misdemeanor, if the defendant objects to any such amendment, the prosecutors would have to initiate the charging process all over again in order to increase the charges in this way. You should absolutely retain a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights if you have not already done so.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Leyba Defense, PLLC
    Leyba Defense, PLLC | Matthew Leyba
    Yes a misdemeanor can be dismissed and refiled as a felony. However you have certain speedy trial rights when this happens.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I assume you're asking if a misdemeanor can be elevated to a felony during the course of the case. This would be unusual, but technically it's possible if the evidence revealed that a felony had actually been committed subsequent to the filing of the case as a misdemeanor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Law Office of Stephen Pearcy
    Law Office of Stephen Pearcy | Stephen Pearcy
    No.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    The Law Office of Lewis R. Rosenblum
    The Law Office of Lewis R. Rosenblum | Lewis Rosenblum
    Yes, it can. The DA has charging discretion and can upgrade the charges if they believe they have the evidence to support it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes. Many offenses are "wobblers," or charges that can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. It is the prosecutor's discretion whether to upgrade. Sometimes they do this as a tactic to make you plead to the misdemeanor. Contact an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/10/2013
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Certain misdemeanors can become felonies based on priors, such as battery, dui and suspended license charges. Others, are based on the age or status of the victim such as minors, elderly and law enforcement. The short answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/11/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    When a charge is filed, the prosecutor receiving the information from the officer makes a charging decision based on what that prosecutor knows with regard to the law and the facts. Prosecutors do not know everything and can make mistakes or miss information. Some times cases are overcharged (should be lesser offenses) but more often they are undercharged (could be higher level charges). So, if the charge was not correct or there is another charge that would fit the facts better, then when the case is being prosecuted the prosecutor can refile the charge (and often threatens to do so if the defendant is refusing to plea bargain with the prosecutor or rejects what the prosecutor believes is a fair offer.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/11/2011
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