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Felony Crimes Trial-Tested Experience to Help Keep You Out of Jail

Salinas Felony Defense Attorney

Representing Clients Throughout Monterey County

At the Law Office of John Klopfenstein, we are backed by over 30 years of legal experience, providing reliable counsel to those facing felony charges. Our attorneys have successfully taken 200 jury trials to verdict, evidencing our substantial trial experience and determination to advocate effectively for our clients.

We understand how impactful a felony conviction can be on your rights and freedom, which is why our approach to each case is client-centered, ensuring personalized legal strategies are developed to address the specific needs and objectives of our clients. Our attorney prioritizes meticulous attention to detail and professionalism in our work, aiming to support our clients through every phase of their legal proceedings with precision and diligence.

If you are facing felony charges, our knowledgeable attorney is here to help. Contact us online or via phone at (831) 610-5921 to speak with a member of our team.

What Constitutes a Felony in California?

California Penal Code ยง 17 (a) defines a felony as an offense that is punishable by death or imprisonment in state prison. In some cases, a felony can be punishable by imprisonment in county jail. Convictions for felony offenses typically carry confinement terms that exceed one year. In comparison, misdemeanor offenses carry less severe penalties, as those facing misdemeanor charges face up to six months of imprisonment and will be imprisoned in county jail.

What Are Wobbler Offenses?

California law distinguishes between two main categories of offenses based on potential punishments: straight felonies and wobbler offenses. A straight felony has a fixed sentence that is always prosecuted as a felony and carries a minimum sentence of more than one year in state prison. If convicted of a felony, you can also have a strike added to your criminal record.

Examples of straight felonies include:

  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence
  • Lewd acts with a child under 14
  • Carjacking
  • First-degree burglary
  • Robbery

Unlike straight felonies, wobblers (also known as alternative felony/misdemeanor offenses) allow for the crime to be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. The decision of how to proceed rests with the prosecutor, often influenced by factors like:

  • Severity of the offense. More serious circumstances surrounding the crime (e.g., violence or significant property damage) may lead to felony charges.
  • Prior criminal history. A defendant with a criminal record is more likely to face felony charges for a wobbler offense.

Examples of wobbler offenses include:

  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Assault with a deadly weapon
  • Burglary (second degree)
  • Grand theft auto
  • Certain domestic violence crimes

It is important to note that you can petition for a wobbler offense to be reduced to a misdemeanor (i.e file a 17(b) motion). Should you be charged with a wobbler offense, you should consult with an experienced felony offense attorney, as they can handle filing the motion or negotiate with the prosecution.

California Three Strikes Rule

California's Three-Strikes Law, formally known as "Three Strikes and You're Out" (Penal Code Section 667), is a sentencing enhancement measure that imposes harsher penalties on those convicted of a third serious or violent felony.

A strike refers to a prior conviction for a serious or violent felony. As we mentioned, convictions for straight felonies can mean getting a strike.

A defendant with one prior "strike" conviction faces a doubling of the sentence for their current felony conviction. The most significant consequence arises upon a third strike. If a defendant has two or more prior "strikes" and is convicted of another serious or violent felony, they face a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Consequences of a Felony Conviction

As we mentioned, felony offenses carry hefty penalties, including time in state prison, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. However, a felony conviction carries consequences that extend beyond the initial sentence of imprisonment or probation, such as:

  • Loss of rights: A felony can lead to the loss of certain rights.
    • Voting rights: California does not allow those with a current felony conviction to register to vote or vote. However, once you have served your prison sentence, your right to vote can be restored.
    • Gun ownership: You may be prohibited from owning or possessing firearms.
    • Public service: You might be ineligible to hold public office or serve on a jury.
  • Employment barriers. A criminal record can make it difficult to secure employment, especially in certain fields, as you can lose your professional license.
  • Educational limitations: Financial aid and educational opportunities may be restricted depending on the severity of the crime.

These are just a few of the potential consequences of a felony conviction. Consulting with an attorney can provide a more specific understanding of how a felony might impact your individual circumstances.

Let Our Salinas Attorney Help You

The Law Office of John Klopfenstein has helped tens of thousands of clients navigate their criminal defense cases. If you or a loved one have been charged with a felony, our firm has the trial experience and legal knowledge needed to help you.

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Why Choose Law Office of John Klopfenstein?

  • Over 200 Jury Trials to Verdict
    We are dedicated to achieving justice for our clients through our extensive trial experience, ensuring they receive the strongest possible defense in the courtroom.
  • 10,000+ Clients Successfully Helped
    Our commitment to justice is reflected in our track record of successfully assisting over 10,000 clients.
  • Over 30 Years of Legal Experience
    With over 30 years of legal experience, we provide unwavering support and advocacy for our clients, ensuring their rights are protected at every turn.
  • Initial Consultations Available
    Get started on your defense with a confidential consultation with a member of our legal team.

  • Lawyer of Distinction
  • CA Public Defender
  • CA DUI
  • 10 Best
  • CACJ
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Contact Law Office of John Klopfenstein Today!

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