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What Are Wobbler Crimes?

 Posted on February 27,2023 in Criminal Defense

Fairfield County Criminal Law AttorneyEvery state has its own criminal law statutes, however, there are usually some similarities. In Connecticut, as in all states, crimes are classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the crime and other factors associated with the offense. Felony charges and the penalties associated with convictions are more severe than misdemeanor charges and penalties. However, there are some crimes that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. These are referred to as “wobbler crimes.”

How Are Charges Determined?

In the majority of criminal cases, the prosecutor will look at the evidence the police have gathered against a suspect and decide what charges that individual should be charged with. In many cases, it is within the prosecutor’s discretion whether the charge will be a misdemeanor or a felony. Examples of crimes this discretion can be applied include:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon

  • Burglary

  • Driving under the influence

  • Forgery

  • Money laundering

  • Sexual battery

  • Statutory rape

  • Vehicular manslaughter

Factors in Wobbler Crimes

In order to charge a wobbler crime as a misdemeanor instead of a felony, there are several factors the prosecutor will consider:

  • The severity of the crime

  • The age of the defendant

  • The defendant’s criminal record

  • Whether the defendant presents a risk of committing future crimes

  • How cooperative the defendant was with law enforcement

  • The strength of the prosecutor’s case

In some cases, even if the prosecutor refuses to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, there is still a chance that the judge will reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor offense once the preliminary hearing is completed. The judge may also choose to reduce the charge during sentencing if the defendant is convicted. The judge will usually use the same criteria the prosecutor does when making that decision.

Contact a Stamford, CT Defense Lawyer

If you have been charged with any type of crime, it is important to have a skilled and knowledgeable Fairfield County criminal law attorney defending you and ensuring your rights are protected. A criminal conviction could not only result in jail or prison time but could also have a determinantal impact on your personal and professional future. There is a significant difference in misdemeanor charges and felony charges, including mandatory prison time if convicted. Call Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free and confidential consultation to find out how our firm can help.



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