New Law, Proposition 47, Will Have a Big Impact in San Luis Obispo Courts by Reducing Some Common Felonies to Misdemeanors.
Proposition 47 is a powerful new State law in California that became law in the November 5th 2014 state election. Proposition 47 is a very pivotal new law for those who either have been, or will be, prosecuted in the State of California for certain listed crimes (previously felonies), as those felonies are now effectively misdemeanors.
Subject to some specific exceptions, The following crimes were reduced to misdemeanors under proposition 47:
Shoplifting (under $950) Previously charged as Burglary (PC 459)
Forgery (PC 473)
Passing a Bad Check for $950 or less (PC 476a)
Grand Theft Under $950 (PC 487)
Petty Theft with a Prior Petty Theft Conviction (PC 666)
Receiving Stolen Property worth $950 or less (PC 496)
Possession of a Controlled Substance HS 1350
Possession of Concentrated Cannabis HS 11357
Possession of Methamphetamine HS 11377
Modification of Sentences Under Propostion 47. Possible Early Release from Jail Becomes a Real Possibility for Thousands.
One of the most exciting aspects of Proposition 47, is that it allows for the retroactive modification of a sentence. This means that some felony convictions, for the crimes listed above, that would have been a misdemeanors had proposition 47 been the law at the time of sentencing, can be reopened and sentences can be modified to misdemeanor sentences.
We have a few clients who were facing felony convictions and serious jail time prior to the passage of prop 47. These individuals are now only facing misdemeanors.
Many individuals are serving considerable time in jail or prison for small crimes. For example, we have client who was arrested for shoplifting. However, because she had already stollen from another store the same day, prosecutors concluded that she entered the second store with intent to steal which, prior to proposition 47 was Burglary and could be charged as a felony. Our client was, in fact, being charged with a felony. She was horrified, as this was the first criminal charge of her whole life. On November 6th 2014, the day after the election, we were pleased to be able to call our client and tell her that she was only facing a misdemeanor.
The applicable section of Proposition 47 reads:
“SEC. 14. Section 1170.18 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
1170.18. (a) A person currently serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section (“this act”) had this act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing in accordance with Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, as those sections have been amended or added by this act.”
Retroactive Reduction of Crime Severity Under Proposition 47. Felonies Reduced to Misdemeanors.
In addition to providing relief for those currently serving felony sentences, another aspect of proposition 47 is that it allows for individuals with felony convictions on their records to have their conviction modified, in some cases years after the fact, to a misdemeanor conviction instead of a felony conviction, even if the conviction is old and the sentence has been served in full. Thus, many who have lived as “convicted felons”, can shed that stigma and move on with their lives.
Call Us Today for a Consultation on How Prop 47 Can Benefit You (805) 621-7181
Proposition 47 is a brand new law. However it is one of the most powerful laws passed in decades in California given the impact it can have on people’s lives. Many who were in jail on November 4th with little hope of being released any time soon have either been released, or will be released if an attorney helps them have their sentence modified.
Very few other San Luis Obispo attorneys understand this law, or know how to use it. We have studied proposition 47 extensively and we know how to use to to benefit our clients. We have studied every word of Proposition 47 and we are excited to save defendants charged with petty felonies get those charges reduced to felonies. We are the go to attorneys in San Luis Obispo or on the Central Coast for help with Proposition 47. Call us today. We can help you.