Pleading Felonies to Misdemeanors

A person found this blog by asking a search engine if a felony could be pled down to a misdemeanor. This is possible, but, in order for this to happen, the prosecutor must agree to a misdemeanor plea and a judge must accept the plea. Typically, the biggest hurdle to jump is getting the prosecutor to agree to a misdemeanor disposition instead of a felony one. The following (non-exhaustive) list contains some of the reasons why a prosecutor might agree to plead a felony down to a misdemeanor.

  • The State has a weak case.
  • The felony charge is stupid.*
  • The prosecutor feels compassion towards the defendant.
  • The State purposefully overcharged the defendant in order to induce the defendant to plead to a misdemeanor

Jeremy Richey

*What did I mean by this statement? For example, suppose a cop sees an 18-year-old kid drinking alcohol. When the cop approaches the kid and asks him how old he is, the kid lies and tells the cop that he is 22. As soon as the kid lied, he committed the felony offense of Obstructing Justice. Charging this offense under these circumstances is stupid.

1 Response to “Pleading Felonies to Misdemeanors”



  1. 1 the imbroglio » Blog Archive » IL Crimlaw Pro and Con Trackback on January 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm
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Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.