Not all defense goals are the same. Sometimes, conviction seems inevitable, so the goal is to mitigate the damage to your life – and that’s where Colorado’s “wobbler law” comes into play.
If you’ve been charged with a felony-level drug crime, you may be entitled under C.R.S. Section 18-1.3-103.5 to have your crime “wobbled” down to a misdemeanor once you meet all the conditions.
How does a wobbler sentence work?
Basically, this is a type of diversion program that can keep you out of jail.
You’re only eligible for a wobbler charge if you are charged with a Class 4 (or lower drug felony and agree to plead guilty with the idea that you will be given a deferred sentence. In exchange, you will be given a chance to complete a drug treatment program.
You may also have to adhere to several other conditions of probation, including mandatory counseling, random drug testing, community service and fines for the entire period. You will naturally have to remain out of any additional criminal trouble for the entire period.
If you’re successful, however, the judge will vacate your felony conviction at the end of your probation, and the conviction will be changed to a misdemeanor.
Can anybody charged with a felony drug crime participate?
No. There are numerous reasons why you may not be entitled to have your conviction wobbled, so it’s very important to discuss your situation with your defense in detail. That way, you will know early on whether or not it’s an option.
Given the collateral consequences of a felony conviction (including the loss of your Second Amendment rights and the effect a felony record can have on your educational and economic opportunities), anything you can do to get your drug charges changed to a misdemeanor can help.