You may have heard the term "wobbler" in passing, or perhaps
you have come across it in relation to a charge you are facing. In either
case, it is important to get informed about wobbler crimes in Georgia.
Wobblers can work in the favor of an individual, or they can work against them. A skilled
criminal defense attorney can help you successfully confront a wobbler in your criminal case.
Wobbler crimes are crimes that may either be charged as a misdemeanor OR
Misdemeanor and Felony Charges in Georgia
Every state treats misdemeanors and felonies a little different. Georgia
does not classify crimes in the same way that some states do. Rather than
generally classifying crimes in specific categories (i.e., Class B felony),
crimes in Georgia are determined to be a felony or a misdemeanor based
on the individual circumstances of each case.
A crime that is punishable by a prison sentence of one year or more is
considered a felony. A crime that is punishable by a county or local jail
sentence of less than one year is considered a misdemeanor. From
white collar crimes,
the circumstances of an individual case could result in a misdemeanor or a felony.
The Georgia "Wobbler" Law
This allows a judge to
reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor if the prison term punishment is
ten years or less in length
. In the right circumstances, a judge may take this action to reduce the
severity of an individual's potential punishment. In this way, the
wobbler law can work to your benefit.
The Georgia Code states the following:
"Imposition of misdemeanor punishment for felonies punishable by imprisonment
for term of ten years or less."
O.C.G.A. 17-10-5 (2010)
However, wobbler crimes can also pose a danger to your case. Many crimes
can be considered a felony if the prison sentence exceeds a year in prison.
The judge is not required to reduce your sentence—
if your misdemeanor turns into a felony issue, there is no guarantee the
judge will act in your favor.
How to Handle Wobbler Crimes the Right Way
You don't have to know the ins and outs of criminal law to get a handle
on your case. A criminal defense attorney in Marietta can do that for
you. Exploring all of your options with a legal professional may ensure
that when you go to court, you are prepared for the unexpected.
Wobbler crimes do not have to be unpredictable. A skilled criminal lawyer will know how to build a strong defense that
can reduce the risk of a simple misdemeanor from turning into an aggravated
charge, or to use protections under Georgia law to reduce a felony punishment
to a misdemeanor penalty.
If you are dealing with wobbler crime in Georgia, you don't have to
face it alone. Contact Henrickson & Sereebutra today and review your
case with a team that has 40+ years of collective experience in criminal defense.
Learn more about our criminal defense services here!