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Santa Rosa Felony Defense Lawyer 

Welcome to The Law Office of Joe Bisbiglia, where we represent individuals facing felony charges in Sonoma County. My firm has advocated for clients in their criminal cases since 2014. I fully understand how impacting a felony conviction can be. This is why I strive to provide the serious representation our clients deserve. I am an experienced felony defense attorney in Santa Rosa, that knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, and has practiced law for over two decades. 

To learn more about felony crimes in California, read on. If you are under investigation, have been arrested, or are facing felony charges and want to speak with me about the details of your situation, contact our office. I am available 24/7 and offer free initial consultations. 

Give me a call at (707) 659-0901 or submit an online contact form

Types of Felony Crimes in California

Felony crimes are considered more severe than misdemeanor crimes because of their potential to cause physical or emotional harm and the way they compromise public safety. 

In California, felony crimes include but are not limited to:

Straight Felonies vs. Wobblers

In California, certain crimes like murder, rape, and first-degree burglary will always be felonies. These are called straight felony crimes. On the other hand, many other crimes can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges. These are called “wobblers,” and they include certain drug, domestic violence, and theft crimes, as well as others. 

With wobbler crimes, courts decide whether to charge a person with a misdemeanor or felony based on the circumstances of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating factors. Mitigating factors can include a defendant’s lack of a criminal record or evidence of a plaintiff’s culpability. Examples of aggravating factors include evidence of premeditation or the use of a weapon. In many cases, a defendant’s attorney can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to have a wobbler offense reduced. 

Penalties for California Felony Crimes

In California, the penalties for a felony conviction can vary depending on the severity of the crime and other factors such as the defendant's criminal history. 

Possible penalties include:

  • Imprisonment: Felony sentences can range from a year in county jail to life in prison, depending on the offense. 
  • Fines: These can range from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Probation: In certain cases, a judge can sentence an individual to probation. Frequently, these probation periods are between three and five years.
  • Restitution: These payments can be anywhere between $300 and $10,000.  

California’s Three-Strike Rule

California's three-strike rule is a legal provision for felony charges. Under this law, a person must serve 25 years to life in prison for a third felony conviction. While the law is meant to deter repeat offenders and protect people in California, some argue it does not reduce crime, disproportionately affects communities of color, and unnecessarily adds to taxpayers’ costs. Despite the controversy, the three-strike rule remains in effect. 

Can You Expunge California Felony Convictions?

It is possible to expunge certain felony crimes in California. Generally, expungement requires a person to complete their probation, pay all fines and fees associated with their conviction, and demonstrate to a court that they have successfully rehabilitated. It is easier to list what felonies cannot be expunged rather than those that can. Crimes that are ineligible for expunction include murder, rape, assault with a deadly weapon, and crimes that resulted in a sentence of life in prison. 

What You Should Do If You Are Facing Felony Charges 

If you find yourself facing felony charges in Sonoma County, the most important thing you can do is retain a trusted attorney. I am a Santa Rosa felony defense lawyer can review your charges and develop a defense strategy based on my knowledge of what works and what does not in court. I can also identify issues with the prosecution's case and negotiate for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options. Beyond seeking the help of a lawyer, it is important to follow all court orders, show up to court dates, and avoid discussing your case with friends and family.

Facing a felony charge is daunting, but you do not have to go it alone. To schedule a free consultation, call (707) 659-0901 or send a message online.

Have Questions?

Criminal Defense FAQ
  • I am innocent—do I still need a criminal defense attorney?
    Yes! If you have been arrested there is a chance you may be convicted, even if you truly did nothing wrong. Having a Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of Joe Bisbiglia on your side can aggressively fight to protect you from false charges. An experienced attorney can make all the difference when standing up for you so your choice of representation is a very important one.
  • What is the difference between probation and parole?
    Parole takes place after a person has spent time in prison, whereas probation may be used as an actual alternative criminal sentence. Parole is usually used to monitor a person who has been released from jail. Probation is a criminal sentence for those convicted of lesser offenses.
  • How does the prosecution determine the charges I will face?
    The prosecution will look to convict you on charges they feel have sufficient evidence for a conviction. A case will typically be dropped if the prosecution feels that there is not enough evidence to reach a conviction. What constitutes enough evidence to the prosecutor is up to their discretion.
  • What is a grand jury?
    Grand juries are made up of individuals used to determine if enough evidence exists in order to take a case to trial. A grand jury will use witness testimony, documentation, and other evidence in reaching its determination. The grand jury will decide whether the case will go to trial in the end.
  • Will I be arrested for refusing to give police a statement?
    Exercising you right to silence cannot be used against you. You are protected from testifying against yourself by the Fifth Amendment. If a police officer is trying to intimidate you into giving a statement, get in touch with a criminal defense attorney immediately.


Read What My Clients Have Said About My Counsel
    “It felt like we had an advocate on our side and that support made all the difference.”

    When my son was unexpectedly arrested this year, I was fortunate to receive a recommendation to Mr. Bisbiglia. He readily agreed to meet my son, listen to his story, and represent him. Mr. Bisbiglia was professional in every encounter throughout the process, whether in his office or in the courtroom. He was conscious of the sensitivity of the subject matter and carefully weighed decisions based on his knowledge of the criminal justice system in conjunction with my son’s state of being. His expertise was invaluable. Mr. Bisbiglia’s poise in the court room comes from years of experience, knowledge, and rapport with parties involved. He helped us navigate what was a foreign process to us. I was especially impressed by the compassion he showed towards my son, treating him with dignity and respect. It felt like we had an advocate on our side and that support made all the difference. Mr. Bisbiglia was communicative and clearly committed to the best possible outcome for my son’s future. I would highly recommend him as a qualified, dedicated, and caring criminal defense attorney.

    “I highly recommend the Law Office of Joe Bisbiglia to any persons looking for a confident defense attorney.”
    “He is genuine and passionate about what he does and if you visit his official website you’ll see there’s a reason why he chose the profession he’s in. During my case, he was forthcoming and open about my options and made sure I was aware ”
    - Gilbert S.
    “Mr. Joe Bisbiglia is an outstanding professional.”
    “From the moment I contacted his office, I received timely, courteous and personal replies concerning every aspect of my DUI case. I was made to feel like a unique individual, not a faceless entity or case number.”
    - Joanna M.
    “I would recommend him to anyone if you are unfortunate to get a DUI.”
    “I got DUI in Santa Rosa and was recommended to use Joe. He gave a Flat fee of 2000 which was awesome compared to other lawyers who said a variable between 3500-5000.”
    - Rebecca K.
    “I have to shout to the world how grateful me and my family are to Joe Bisbiglia.”
    “Feeling hopeless and lost, Joe brought comfort for me and my family throughout our process of our business relationship. He kept us informed and was a beyond exemplary. Joe really knows his craft and also has a heart to boot.”
    - Gwenell S.
    “Mr. Bisbiglia is by far the best defense lawyer to work with in Sonoma County.”
    “His professionalism in representing me in my own personal case helped me during a time of turmoil and confusion. He truly cares about what he does and was dedicated to making sure any and all questions I had were answered in a timely manner.”
    - Ishii A.
    “BEST DEFENSE Lawyer in Sonoma county!!”
    “Joe works miracles literally my fiancé was for sure on his way to prison and he got him out of a prison twice!”
    - Ashley O.
    “His number one concern was that I was okay.”
    “I can’t express how grateful I am for Joe and his knowledge on domestic violence cases and restraining orders. Joe was always free to discuss any matters of the case I needed, and didn’t nickel and dime me through the process.”
    - Ashlee D.