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Wobblers and felony classifications in New York

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you are facing charges of criminal wrongdoing, you may have heard that these charges are so-called wobblers. “If that’s the case,” you may be wondering, “why am I at risk of being convicted of a felony?” 

Understanding what a wobbler is, why you’ve been charged with a felony even though your case inhabits wobbler territory and the sentencing terms you’ll risk in the event that you’re convicted is important. All too often, individuals who are facing criminal charges trust that hope and faith alone will see them through to an acquittal or dismissal of all charges. In reality, constructing a strong defense against a wobbler charge that has been classified as a felony is critical if you’re going to have any genuine chance of success. 

What is a wobbler?

A wobbler is a criminal offense that could, technically, be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If you’ve been charged with a felony and could have theoretically been charged with a misdemeanor instead, there is likely at least one aggravating factor at play that caused the prosecutor assigned to your case to charge you with the harsher option. 

It is worth noting that wobblers are generally only charged as felonies when a prosecutor believes that their case against an accused person is a strong one. They also have reason to believe that the conduct was either particularly egregious or is part of a pattern of behavior that may be evidenced by a record of past convictions for similar offenses. 

If you’ve been charged with a wobbler that has been classified as a felony, it is important to research both your rights under the law and the potential consequences you will face if you’re convicted. This information can help you to approach a precarious position in thoughtful and urgently serious ways.