Understanding A Wobbler Offense In California

Free & Confidential Consultations

A felony conviction could significantly disrupt your life.

After a felony conviction, you might find it harder to get the job you want, live where you want to live, further your education, exercise your right to vote, or possess a firearm.

A felony conviction could lead to immigration problems as well if you are not a citizen of the United States.

The good news is you might be able to avoid a felony conviction if the prosecutor charged you with a wobbler offense. 

The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, APLC, is composed of several award-winning attorneys.

We provide superior legal services and emotional support for you and your family while we fight to protect your rights and freedoms.

Attorney Kerry L. Armstrong is a board-certified legal specialist in criminal law—a rare distinction few California attorneys possess.

He and his staff are ready to take on the challenge of helping you avoid a felony conviction.

Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you avoid a felony conviction if your charges are wobbler crimes.

What Is a Wobbler Offense in California?

What is a wobbler offense? This is one of our most frequently asked questions. Simply stated, a wobbler offense is a crime that could be punished as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

The term “wobbler” refers to the crimes in the Penal Code that allow for either misdemeanor or felony punishment. 

This means that the prosecutor can elect to bring a misdemeanor or a felony against you if the alleged offense is a wobbler.

The prosecutor could do that when initially filing criminal charges, at the felony preliminary hearing, or at sentencing.

Additionally, a judge can reduce your wobbler offense from a felony to a misdemeanor at the court’s discretion either immediately following the preliminary hearing or at sentencing.  . 

Grand theft is a good wobbler offense example. According to Penal Code §487, a conviction for grand theft allows the court to give you up to one year in the county jail if you face a misdemeanor.

However, you could spend 16 months in jail or two or three years in a state prison if the court treats the crime as a felony

Why Is Understanding the Wobbler Offense Definition Important?

A skilled defense attorney from our office will fight as hard as possible to win a reduced sentence for you.

Sometimes, that means arguing with the judge or negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce a wobbler offense from a felony to a misdemeanor. 

The sentencing phase of a criminal case is vitally important.

Whether you take your case to trial or decide to plead guilty, you must understand the severity of the penalties you face to make an informed decision about your future.

That means you will need a lawyer who understands what you are up against. 

We will fight for you even if you face a tough battle. Convincing a prosecutor or judge to charge you with a misdemeanor instead of a felony is one of the many avenues of defense we can explore. 

A San Diego County, California, Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

Our defense team has a reputation as passionate advocates who will stand up for your rights.

We rely on our substantial experience and the expertise of board-certified attorney Kerry L. Armstong to find the best defense strategy for you.

We have tried well over 100 cases to jury trial and have an impressive track record of success. 

Call our office today at 619-234-2300 or contact us online for a free consultation to learn more. 

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

Rate this Post

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars