get felony reduce

1 Answers
juliekreutzer Staff answered 3 years ago

There is a difference between expungement (which removes the record from where people can view it) and modifying a plea agreement (which usually happens as part of a plea agreement.)  Typically, if you are trying to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor, you plead not guilty, negotiate with the DA’s office or the County Attorney’s office and reach a deal that is then plead to before the Judge.  Typically, if a court grants an expungement, that means the case is over because you already plead guilty or were found guilty by a judge or jury.  For a plea deal, there is a hearing where  the judge  asks you if you preferred trial to pleading to a felony and then explains the nature of the charge and the deal you reached is reviewed.  If you said you wanted to plead, after being advised of your right to trial, then the judge accepts the plea. After that, it’s nearly impossible to  change later because the court already asked if you were satisfied and for a felony, you should have had a public defender or private counsel to explain what it all meant and advise you. On the other hand, if you went to trial and were found guilty of a felony, then you can only get rid of the felony by an appeal of the judgment and it depends on if you are in the appeals period.  In that case, you’re not trying to reduce it, you’re trying to get rid of it because you are saying the decision was wrong.
Another word on expungement:  In some places, expungement means that ordinary people like employers, etc. can’t see that you had a felony but others like law enforcement can see it.  Some plea deals work in such a way that if you fulfill the conditions of your plea deal, it’s as if the crime did not occur but you need to file a request to make sure that it dissappears off the radar of public record, the FBI, etc.  You need to check and get the record from the court of the plea deal, if you had one, to see what the terms were.
General Note on Plea Deals for Everyone:  Never, ever agree to a plea deal on any criminal charge until you know precisely what is involved.  If you feel you understand the agreement and it’s better than risking trial, fine, but keep records so that some day if there’s a potential that what is on you record might affect you in some way (a job, for example), you can review what it is you agreed to and what it meant.  I have clients that don’t understand they reached a plea deal or what was involved — that is very hazardous!