When Proposition 47 (“Prop 47“) was passed in California, numerous crimes that were felonies but had related amounts of $950 or less then became misdemeanors. Government officials are concerned that repercussions to relatively small offenses such as forgery, theft, shoplifting, and vandalism now carry few repercussions for the offending party.
Recently Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist stated, “You could walk into a Walmart, put three 33-inch TVs in, and walk out and nothing be done. The sheriff’s department is helpless under Proposition 47. We want to put some teeth into it.”
The City of Lancaster has put some “teeth” in Prop 47 by levying administrative fines using a city ordinance they’re considering for certain offenses in order to decrease crimes affected by provisions in Prop 47. These give sheriff’s deputies the authorization to issue administrative citations that would include a $500 fine for first offenses such as forgery, theft, shoplifting, vandalism, and certain drug offenses. Fines for second and further offenses would be increased to $1,000.
Michelle Egberts of AV-East Kern Second Chance is one of the critics opposing Lancaster’s proposed ordinance. Michelle Egberts sponsors an “Expungement Workshop” which seeks to help former offenders get back into society under California Penal Code section 1170.18, which was created by Prop 47. Under this Penal Code Section offenders who are currently serving felony sentences for some crimes can petition their sentencing court to reduce their sentences from a felony to a misdemeanor. Egberts asserts that the City of Lancaster is tampering with the proposition that was passed statewide by California voters.
Michelle Egbert asserts, “We will seek legal avenues towards suing the city, if adopted. Prop. 47 was not written for the cities to adopt ordinances like this to have administrative fines be given out.”
If you have questions or concerns relating to Prop 47 that affects reducing your sentence from a felony to a misdemeanor, you need the expert advice of a criminal defense attorney such as Sevens Legal, APC. Contact Sevens Legal, APC, today for a free consultation.