Ian’s Legal Fact of the Week 4/25/16: ‘Wobbler’ Offenses

A ‘wobbler’, otherwise known as a ‘hybrid crime’, is one that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. These crimes are said to ‘wobble’ between these two categories, as they can be charged as either based on a prosecutor’s discretion. The penalties are therefore dictated by whether the defendant is charged and convicted of a felony or misdemeanor. Examples include assault and DUIs (both of which may be charged as felonies if they result in serious harm or death) or grand theft (depending on the value of the property). California likely has the most wobbler offenses, as it has over a hundred on the books.

 


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