My question involves criminal law for the state of: California
I was arrested and detained for a violation of PC 288 lewd acts with a child under 14 ( a felony ). The day I was supposed to go to court they released me and I was never formally charged, but I was informed that they had a year to file.
A few months later in regard to the same matter a warrant was issued for my arrest and I was charged with PC 647.6 Child Annoy/Molest ( a misdemeanor ). I was ready to take it to trial and fight it tooth and nail, but my public defender told me that if I lost in trial they could change the charge to the felony they were originally going for, so I ended up pleading no contest. I believe she used a specific term for the change, but I don't remember what it was. It might have been a legal term though.
However I now find myself questioning the legality of such a move. What I plead to, to the best of my knowledge, isn't a misdemeanor form of a more serious charge, but a totally different charge. If I am convicted on one charge how can they then change it to something else with different standards of proof afterward? Or am I misunderstanding something?