What Is a “Wobbler Offense”?

A wobbler offense in Carlsbad, CA is a unique type of crime. Criminal acts that fall under this classification can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. In other words, they can “wobble” between the two types of crimes.

A criminal defense attorney in Carlsbad, CA can assist those who are charged with wobbler offenses. The attorney can work to get the charge and sentencing reduced, so the defendant is not sentenced under a felony charge. Here’s how it works.


If a judge sentences a defendant to jail time, this indicates the wobbler offense was charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the defendant is given prison time, the conviction is considered a felony. The judge does not always have to decide which type of charge to file right away. He or she can wait until the probation period is over to determine which type of final sentencing to choose.


Prosecutors can also choose whether to label the wobbler offense as a misdemeanor or felony. The details of the crime determine which route the prosecutor and judge pursue. The judge considers the circumstances and the likelihood that the offense will be repeated to determine the seriousness of the crime and the appropriate sentencing. Even if the prosecutor decides to pursue a felony conviction, the judge always has the final say and can reduce this to a misdemeanor.


There are many criminal acts that fall under the wobbler offense category. These include:

  • Resisting an officer and causing death or serious bodily injury
  • Accessory after the fact to a felony
  • Threat to injure public or school employees
  • Threatening jurors following verdict
  • Influencing a juror, referee or umpire
  • Possession of a deadly weapon
  • Assault or battery by police
  • Conspiracy to cheat or defraud


For many reasons, it can be extremely helpful to reduce a wobbler offense to a misdemeanor rather than felony status. The felony conviction can make it much harder to get a job, qualify for a loan or rent a place to live. Professional licensing can also be harder to obtain with a felony record. While reducing the charge to a misdemeanor does not eliminate every consequence of a felony charge, it can reduce some of the long-term consequences of a criminal record.

How to get help

If you’ve been charged with a wobbler offense, it’s best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Carlsbad, CA. This professional will know how to navigate the system and attempt to get the charges reduced as much as possible.

We’re here to help

Gregory Hood has been a practicing attorney in California for over 30 years. His practice mainly consists of personal injury, criminal defense and bankruptcy law. He has been involved in over 50 jury trials. He is a graduate of the University of Washington, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree, and a graduate of the University of San Diego, where he received his law degree. Call today to learn more about how we can help you with your wobbler offense in Carlsbad, CA.

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