California Felony Defense Lawyer

If you are facing a felony criminal charge or law enforcement investigation, the most important step you can take is to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Hiring the right lawyer can help tilt the scales of justice in your favor and prevent your life from being devastated by an avoidable conviction.

At Chudnovsky Law, we have the skill and experience to vigorously defend you at every stage in the criminal justice system. Our felony defense attorneys represent clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. We understand what is at stake and work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for you.

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CONTENTS

Defense against all Felony Charges

The California penal code defines many types of criminal offenses as felonies. There are also many “wobbler” offenses that can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts in the case, defendants prior record and the presence of aggravating factors. Certain serious felonies are classified as “Strike” offenses that can lead to a prison sentence of 25 years to life under the “Three Strikes” sentencing law.

Defending a felony case requires a careful analysis of the evidence, the prosecutor’s case and all available legal defense strategies. Our Los Angeles felony lawyers have experience handling every type of case, including these common categories:

While our Orange County felony attorneys are successful trial attorneys, we know the #1 goal is to secure the most favorable outcome possible in your case. That can occur in a full dismissal by the DA, a skillfully negotiated plea deal or acquittal in a hard-fought jury trial. Every case is unique and we will employ a customized strategy for yours.

Illustration comparing infraction, misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses along with the concept of wobbler and wobblette offenses.

What is a “wobbler” crime?

Wobbler crimes are defined as criminal offenses that District Attorneys have discretion whether to file as a felony or misdemeanor based on the case facts and criminal record of the defendant. There are hundreds of wobbler offenses.

Some of the most commonly filed California wobbler crimes are:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon 245(a)(1) pc
  • Burglary 459 pc
  • Carrying loaded firearm in public 25850(a) pc
  • Child endangerment 271 pc
  • Criminal threats 422 pc
  • Domestic violence 273.5 pc
  • DUI causing bodily injury 23153 vc
  • Forgery 470 pc
  • Grand theft 487 pc
  • Sexual battery 243.4 pc
  • Stalking 646.9(a) pc
  • Statutory rape 261.5 pc
  • Vandalism 594 pc
  • Vehicular manslaughter 192(c)(1) and 192(c)(2)

Reducing a felony to misdemeanor using 17(b) pc motion

California Penal Code 17(b) pc allows a court petition asking the judge to reduce a wobbler felony conviction to a misdemeanor. If the wobbler conviction has had probation granted, the judge may reduce a felony wobbler at the following stages:

  1. At the end of the preliminary hearing,
  2. At the time of felony sentencing, or
  3. After you have completed your felony probation.

If you are facing any type of felony charge, call Chudnovsky Law at (844) 325-1444 or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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If you are looking to hire a felony defense lawyer, we invite you to call 844 325-1444 for a Free consultation.

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Penalties for felony conviction

Felony sentencing rules are complex and courts typically have wide discretion when determining prison sentences and penalties. Most California felony offenses have three fixed (or determinate) sentence options defined in the crime statute. If no sentences are defined, the choices will be 16 months, 2 years or 3 years (18(a) pc).

After conviction by plea or trial, the court holds a sentencing hearing where the judge must select one of the three lengths of incarceration as the base term sentence, unless the statute permits alternatives such as probation, fine, or mandatory supervision for some portion of the sentence.

When making the base term sentence choice, the judge typically considers aggravating circumstances, mitigating factors, and witness statements (1170 pc). Judges can add to the defendant’s base term sentence based on their criminal record and other factors involved in the case. Most felony sentences are for a fixed term with a few exceptions where the laws define indeterminate sentences, such as “25 years to life.”

“Three Strikes” sentence enhancement

Under the California “Three Strikes” law, defendants that have prior convictions for serious or violent felonies can be subjected to increased sentences. The law was originally enacted in 1994, then amended in 2012 to require that any third strike offender convicted of a serious or violent felony receive a state prison sentence of 25 years to life.

Convicted felons are required to serve an additional 5 year sentence enhancement for every prior conviction for a serious felony (667 pc and 1170.12 pc). Sentence enhancement rules are complex and depend on the number of prior convictions and the nature of the current charges. An experienced Long Beach criminal defense lawyer can develop an effective defense that balances all factors involved in your case.

Get A Free Consultation

If you are facing any type of felony charge, call Chudnovsky Law at 844 325-1444 or contact us online for a free consultation to discuss your case.

GET A FREE CONSULTATION

Collateral consequences for felony convictions

In addition to substantial fines, prison time and strict probation terms, felony convictions create collateral consequences that hurt your reputation and opportunities in life. Collateral consequences are regulatory and legal restrictions that impair or prevent those with a criminal record from accessing employment, housing, voting, business, occupational licensing, education, and other benefits, rights, and opportunities.

The National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction is a database that has identified over 44,000 collateral consequences. Some common examples for felony convictions include:

  1. Many employers will not hire convicted felons.
  2. Denial or loss of an occupational or professional license due to conviction (such as nursing, medical, accountant, dental, and chiropractor licensees).
  3. Landlords may run background checks and refuse to rent to a prior offender.
  4. Prohibition of working in management or operations in regulated businesses.
  5. Many felony convictions are deportable offenses for noncitizens.
  6. Ineligibility for government contracts, benefits and participation in many programs.
  7. Certain offenses, such as drug crimes, can cause disqualification from college admission and/or student loans and financial aid.
  8. Restrictions on family relationships and living arrangements (adoption, child custody, and fostering children).
  9. Disclosure requirements, such as that requiring physicians must notify every patient in writing of their conviction before seeing a patient.
  10. Registration, supervision and public disclosure of personal information, such as sex offender registration for sex offenses.
  11. Loss of driver’s license for traffic offenses, such as Los Angeles felony DUI.

These kinds of serious consequences are why our felony defense lawyers work so hard to avoid conviction whenever possible. We understand what is at stake.

Felony Defense Attorney in Los Angeles and Orange County CA Chudnovsky Law

What are the best felony legal defenses?

In order to convict a defendant of a felony crime, the prosecutor must prove several crime elements to the strict legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This places a very high burden on the District Attorney. U.S. law requires that the court assume defendants are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The job of a criminal defense lawyer is to highlight errors or doubts in the prosecutor’s evidence and/or legal flaws in their case. Most criminal charges require that the DA prove “criminal intent” when the act or omission to act occurred. Proving this beyond a reasonable doubt can be very difficult.

Depending on the offense, one common defense strategy is to demonstrate doubt in the criminal intent assertion by showing evidence that:

  1. The act was accidental.
  2. The act was done in self defense or under duress.
  3. The act was done based on a mistake of fact or other misunderstanding.
  4. The act was done due to law enforcement entrapment.

The best felony defense strategies vary between DUI and other criminal offenses. Select the guide below that is appropriate for your case to see the best legal defenses:

17 BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSES

Read more

HOW TO BEAT A DUI

Read more
California felony criminal defense attorneys

Immigration consequences of felony conviction

If you are a noncitizen in the United States on a visa or green card, one of the last things you should do is be convicted of a felony crime. USCIS can start deportation proceedings or downgrade your immigration status because of a felony or even many misdemeanor convictions. Simply being arrested can cause some visas to be revoked, even before you have an opportunity to defend yourself (See F1 visa revoked).

The harshest immigration consequences occur when convicted for a crime involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony (defined under INA § 101(a)(43)). Noncitizens that commit crimes in these categories are usually ineligible for relief from deportation and can be barred from re-entering the United States.

RELATED: Guide to Deportable Crimes and Aggravated Felonies

The intersection between criminal and federal immigration laws is one of the most complex areas of law. When facing any criminal charge or law enforcement investigation, noncitizens need an attorney with expertise in both criminal and immigration law. Tsion Chudnovsky is a criminal immigration lawyer with extensive experience defending noncitizens facing every type of criminal charge.

California passed CPC § 1016.2 and CPC § 1016.3 which requires that prosecutors consider immigration consequences when resolving criminal matters. To learn about how how we use these laws to help protect noncitizens, contact us for a free consultation.

Top Felony Defense.
About Us

If you or a loved one are facing a felony charge or police investigation, it is critical to protect yourself and consult an experienced felony criminal defense attorney as early as possible. The harsh penalties prosecutors pursue in felony cases can trigger consequences that affect you and your family for life.

65+ Years of experience you can trust

Chudnovsky Law is a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers known and respected by both prosecutors and judges as honest, effective attorneys for our clients. Our three senior attorneys have over 65 years of combined experience taking on tough cases in the high stakes criminal justice system. We provide skillful, compassionate representation to clients facing some of life’s most stressful and dangerous circumstances.

Chudnovsky Law is rated Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, an award only given to a select group of premier trial lawyers from across the United States that have demonstrated exceptional qualifications in their area of the law. The firm also maintains an Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating and Martindale 5 Star Rating.

We encourage you to read our lawyer bios and read client testimonials to learn more about our award-winning lawyers. They have successfully handled over 8,500 cases and jury trials. Call us at (844) 325-1444 for a free consultation.

Our Client Testimonials

“I was accused of a serious felony and was very worried that my professional license could be in jeopardy. My sister connected me with Chudnovsky Law. Bottom line is Tsion and her team saved me. They acted fast to develop their strategy and went to work. She is very connected and worked their network in the system to resolve my case. She got the charges dismissed and gave me my life back! Her fee wasn’t the lowest, but worth every penny. Highly recommended!”

STEVE M

“Chudnovsky Law is top notch and they helped me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. I was falsely accused of a felony domestic violence charge during the end of a toxic relationship and had my life turned completely upside down. Besides being one of the best domestic violence attorneys in Los Angeles, Tsion Chudnovsky also really understands human psychology. She knew how to help me deal with the situation emotionally and talked me off the ledge. She walked me through her strategy. After some meticulous work, she was able to get the bogus charges totally dismissed. While I can’t get back that lost time, I can be thankful I found someone to protect me and get me safely through the storm. Thank you Tsion! I will recommend you to anyone in need.”

CHARLENE

“Excellent experience from start to finish. My partner was arrested for a felony criminal charge and I found Mr Weinberg after searching online for a well reviewed attorney. He responded quickly on a Saturday and helped immediately arrange bail at a discounted bond fee.

You can tell Robert really cares and he knew the DA in our case…which turned out to be a big bonus. You feel protected and respected with him representing you. He has a lot of gravitas with prosecutors and judges. We always felt like he was very skilled at handling our case and gave very sage advice on what to do every step of the way. Long story short, he got the charge dismissed. Thank you!”

TOM

“During a very difficult time, Chudnovsky Law really made the difference in our lives. A family member was being investigated for a serious felony allegation. Ms. Chudnovsky and her team were very professional and knowledgable about the Los Angeles legal system and clearly explained what we needed to do. They are excellent criminal defense attorneys! They acted fast and were instrumental in clearing up the issue for us and preventing potentially disastrous consequences. I can highly recommend Ms. Chudnovsky for anyone needing a very smart, trustworthy defense lawyer.”

NORMA

“A special thank you to Tsion Chudnovsky. My case was serious and I only had a few days to hire a criminal defense attorney for a Newport Beach felony case. I called Tsion on Sunday and she met me that day! She was very competent and compassionate and reassured me at a tough time. She clearly explained everything and after a couple months of hard work was able to resolve the case amazingly for me. I highly recommend Chudnovsky Law if you need an top criminal defense lawyer.”

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Los Angeles

AT METROPOLITAN COURT

CERCA DE METROPOLITAN COURT

PRÈS DE METROPOLITAN COURT

1933 S Broadway #1100, Los Angeles, CA 90007
(213) 212-5002

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Orange County

NEAR HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

CERCA DEL CENTRO DE JUSTICIA DE HARBOR

PRÈS DE HARBOR JUSTICE CENTER

23 Corporate Plaza Dr, Suite 150, Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 750-2500

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Long Beach

NEAR LONG BEACH COURT

CERCA DE LA CORTE

PRÈS DE LONG BEACH COURT

309 Pine Ave, Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 800-4080

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Santa Monica

BY SANTA MONICA PIER

CERCA DEL MUELLE

PRÈS DE LA JETÉE

1541 Ocean Ave, Suite 200, Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 340-7220

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Cities Served

We represent clients throughout southern California from our Los Angeles and Orange County offices, including:

Los Angeles County: Alhambra, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Buena Park, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Encino, Glendale, Hollywood, Huntington Park, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Pomona, San Fernando, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Torrance, Van Nuys, Venice, Ventura, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills.

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Orange County: Aliso Viejo, Anaheim, Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, La Palma, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin, Villa Park, Westminster and Yorba Linda.

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Written by Tsion Chudnovsky and Robert Weinberg.

Avvo 10.0 Superb Rating
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers award
US News & World Best Lawyer Rating
California Assault & Battery Attorney Awards: Findlaw 5 Star Rating, Google 5 Star Rating
Justia 10.0 Lawyer Rating