Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

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Latest post 08-18-2009 10:35 PM by shanae1978. 4 replies.
  • 10-20-2006 7:43 PM

    • KMP1
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    Question [=?] Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

    I was convicted of a 3rd degree felony for theft in 2001. This was in Utah. I served 120 days in jail and had 3 year probation. I have a significant amount of restitution to pay off. I have been going to school and when I graduate from college would like to get a job teaching. Some school districts do not accept applications from anyone who has anykind of felony. My question is: Is there a way to get a 3rd degree felony dropped to a Misdemeanor? I have been told by the school district that they would hire me if I got the charges dropped down to a misdemeanor. I still have a few years before I am eligible to get them expunged. I just feel the only way I will ever be able to pay off the restitution is with a good career. Thanks.
  • 10-20-2006 9:13 PM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

    The following code section appears to authorize the court to reduce certain felonies to misdemeanors. Consult local counsel for assistance. There may be things you may or must do to make this happen . . . .

    Utah Code Ann. 76-3-402. Conviction of lower degree of offense.

    (1) If the court, having regard to the nature and circumstances of the offense of which the defendant was found guilty and to the history and character of the defendant, concludes it would be unduly harsh to record the conviction as being for that degree of offense established by statute and to sentence the defendant to an alternative normally applicable to that offense, the court may unless otherwise specifically provided by law enter a judgment of conviction for the next lower degree of offense and impose sentence accordingly.

    (2) If a conviction is for a third degree felony the conviction is considered to be for a class A misdemeanor if:

    (a) the judge designates the sentence to be for a class A misdemeanor and the sentence imposed is within the limits provided by law for a class A misdemeanor; or

    (b) (i) the imposition of the sentence is stayed and the defendant is placed on probation, whether committed to jail as a condition of probation or not;

    (ii) the defendant is subsequently discharged without violating his probation; and

    (iii) the judge upon motion and notice to the prosecuting attorney, and a hearing if requested by either party or the court, finds it is in the interest of justice that the conviction be considered to be for a class A misdemeanor.

    (3) An offense may be reduced only one degree under this section unless the prosecutor specifically agrees in writing or on the court record that the offense may be reduced two degrees. In no case may an offense be reduced under this section by more than two degrees.

    (4) This section may not be construed to preclude any person from obtaining or being granted an expungement of his record as provided by law.

    (5) Judgment for a conviction for a lower degree of offense may not be entered if there remains any unpaid balance on court ordered restitution for the offense for which the reduction is sought.

    (6) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section:

    (a) a person required to register as a sex offender
    under Section 77-27-21.5 is not eligible to obtain a reduction of the conviction that requires the person to register as a sex offender:

    (i) while under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections; or

    (ii) until the registration requirements under Section 77-27-21.5 have expired; and

    (b) a person required to register as a sex offender for the person's lifetime under Subsection 77-27-21.5(10)(c) may not be granted a reduction of the conviction for the offense or offenses that require the person to register as a sex offender.

  • 10-21-2006 10:16 AM In reply to

    • KMP1
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    • Joined on 10-20-2006
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    Question [=?] re: Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

    Is the following an absolute requirement? My problem is that I need to have a good job to be able to pay back the restitution and court fees. I am having a hard time getting a good job with the felony on my record.


    5) Judgment for a conviction for a lower degree of offense may not be entered if there remains any unpaid balance on court ordered restitution for the offense for which the reduction is sought.
  • 10-21-2006 11:48 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

    That is the general rule in most states. The reason is that the court is able to hold the risk of a prison sentence over the defendant's head if he violates the the terms of his probation by failing to pay the full restitution. Once the offense is reduced to a misdemeanor, the incentive to pay sometimes disssipates.

    Some people in a similar situation find a way to pay the restiution ASAP; i.e., getting a loan from friends and family, etc. View it as a good investment to secure your career.
  • 08-18-2009 10:35 PM In reply to

    re: Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor

    do you whether virginia is one of those states?That will drop a felony down toa misdeamnor!

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