How do I petition the Court to lower an expunged felony to a misdemeanor? 6 Answers as of July 05, 2012

Only drug posession (cocaine), over 20 years ago. Served time (18 days), expunged in 1993. Was told to petition Santa Clara Co., to reduce to misdemeanor.

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Law Office of Jared C. Winter
Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
Cocaine possession is not a "wobbler". This means that it can only be charged as a felony. It is not legally possible to have it lowered to a misdemeanor, even though it is possible to have it expunged.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2012
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
You ask two questions. One is whether a possession for cocaine conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor. The other involves expungements. A felony possession can not be reduced to a misdemeanor. It is presently at least a "straight felony". On the other hand If you completed probation successfully you are entitled to an expungement for a felony drug offense. Each county has a different procedure and it can be done with or without an attorney. An attorney could help in that he or she would likely seek the route of a formal motion before the court which also could be done much sooner than the administrative way. Costs vary with attorney to attorney. In such things where the lawyer makes a difference you get what you pay for. After you obtain an expungement there is a further procedure that an attorney can tell you about. 1.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2012
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
Not every felony can be reduced. Possession of cocaine is a straight felony and cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2012
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
If it was already expunged as you indicate, it should have been done at the time. Check your criminal record to see what it shows.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/5/2012
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
You can only reduce "wobblers" to misdemeanors. A wobbler is a case that could be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. If they charge a felony after probation is finished you can petition to have it reduced to a misdemeanor. BUT cocaine possession was never a wobbler so there is no way to do this unless you have a very cooperative DA and very cooperative judge. We used to do it in Oakland because there was a wonderful judge (since deceased). What he would do would be to recall the felony case and dismiss it. Then the DA would enter a new charge of meth possession (a wobbler) and you would plead guilty to the misdemeanor. End of story. Will not be easy to find such a wonderful judge and cooperative DA.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/4/2012
    Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
    You have to file a 17(b) motion. Often the clerks have the forms at the court house or you can get assistance from a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/4/2012
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