Accomplished Orange County Defense Firm
Available 24/7 to Answer Your Call 949-251-0330
Back to Top

What is a Wobbler Offense in CA?

There are two main types of crimes in California: misdemeanors and felonies. However, a “wobbler” is a criminal offense that can be punished as either a misdemeanor or felony. 

Common types of wobbler offenses in California include: 

Additionally, there are also “wobblette” offenses, which are crimes that are charged as either a misdemeanor or infraction. Most infractions are punishable by a fine, rather than a jail or prison sentence like a misdemeanor or felony offense. 

Common wobblette offenses include: 

  • Driving without a license 

  • Driving with a suspended or revoked license 

  • Exhibition of speed 

  • Failure to appear in traffic court 

  • Criminal trespass 

  • Disturbing the peace 

In most cases, the prosecution determines whether a wobbler charge is a felony, misdemeanor, or an infraction. A wobbler crime can be reduced to a misdemeanor (1) when a prosecutor charges the crime, (2) when a defendant appears at a felony preliminary hearing, (2) during sentencing, or (4) after a defendant completes felony probation, so long as he/she was not sentenced to prison. 

The prosecution will consider the following factors before deciding how to charge a wobbler or wobblette: 

  • The seriousness of the criminal offense 

  • The defendant’s criminal history 

  • The defendant’s age 

  • The strength of the prosecution’s case 

  • The defendant’s willingness to cooperate with the police 

  • If the defendant will continue facing criminal charges in the future 

  • If the defendant is eligible for probation 

Furthermore, prosecutors may also take into account “mitigating circumstances.” Common examples include the defendant is a first-time offender, the defendant played a minor or passive role in the offense, the defendant avoided or attempted to avoid harming others, and the defendant voluntarily admitted to wrongdoing early in the criminal process. 

If you or a loved one has been arrested in Newport Beach or within Orange County, contact Corrigan Welbourn Stokke, APLC today at (949) 251-0330 to learn how our experienced legal team can help you. Available 24/7!