Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Change Your Felony Conviction to a Misdemeanor - 402 Motions

A felony conviction can change your life. Consequences of a felony conviction can include:

1.  Losing the right to hold public;
2.  Losing the right to vote;
3.  Losing the right to serve on a jury;
4.  Losing the ability to have a firearm;
5.  Losing the ability to hold certain licenses and certificates;
6.  Losing job opportunities;
7.  Embarrassment, loss of reputation, and more.

When someone has been convicted of a felony, there is hope of having that felony reduced to a misdemeanor.  In the State of Utah, a felony conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor either at the time of sentencing, or at the successful completion of probation.  The rules for obtaining this kind of reduction are found in Utah Code Annotated section 76-3-402.  A motion to reduce the offense level of a conviction is commonly referred to as a "402 motion."

In a 402 motion, a person can ask a court to reduce the offense level of a conviction by one level.  For example, someone convicted of a third degree felony could ask to have the conviction reduced to a class A misdemeanor.  With the agreement of the prosecutor, a conviction can be reduced by two levels (i.e. from a 2nd degree felony to a class A misdemeanor.)  Misdemeanor offense levels can also be reduced using this law (i.e. a class A misdemeanor can be reduced to a class B misdemeanor.)

A 402 offense level reduction has many benefits.  In addition to the benefits gained from removing an embarrassing felony from one's record, it can also pave the way for expungement qualification, to remove the conviction completely.  The more serious the conviction level, the more difficult it is to expunge a conviction, and the longer a person has to wait to qualify.  One or two offense level reductions can speed up the expungement process by years.

I have been successful in assisting clients in reducing the offense levels to their convictions using 402 motions, and in helping them expunge their convictions.  If you have questions about this process, give me a call.

68 comments:

  1. It still amazes me the amount of success lawyers have and how much they can help their clients. Especially lawyer like you, I feel like you have a tough job. We had a neighbor that used a Dallas criminal defense attorney and they got lowered from felony to misdemeanor. It totally changed how their life played out. Thank you for posting.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! I've been looking for a criminal lawyer in Salt Lake City, but don't know what to look for. Do you have any recommendations?

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  4. Thank you for this post! It was very informative and gave me some ideas to help my brother! I just need to find a criminal defense lawyer in Clovis .

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  5. I'll have to tell my friend to ask his criminal attorney in Chicago about this. Thanks for your help.

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  6. Thank you so much for this information. Do you know where I could find a criminal defense lawyers in Charlottesville Va?

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  9. Thanks for this article. Many people seem confused about the process to change a felony to a misdemeanor. I'm glad I was able to talk to my criminal attorney in Auburn about this a few years ago. Thanks again.

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  10. Thanks so much for the post. I personally have been in a very similar situation and luckily, I had a great DUIlawyer in Poulsbo, WA on my side.

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  12. I really appreciate this information. My mother is looking for a good criminal lawyer in Harford County MD. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks.

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    1. It's not that these attorneys actually help "criminals". In the American justice system everyone is innocent till proven guilty, therefor, the people they help are not technically criminals yet. And even then, sometimes they never should have been and they were just some innocent person who got blamed.

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