The passage of Proposition 47 by California voters on November 5, 2014, reclassified some crimes, such as drug possession, forgery, shoplifting, possession of stolen goods, theft, and check or credit card fraud, as well as other “non-serious and non-violent property crimes,” from felonies to misdemeanors. This requires a misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for the use of most illegal drugs by individuals.
Defendants who have current or prior convictions of violent crimes or sex offenses, such as murder, rape, or gun-related crimes, are not eligible to have their charges and/or sentences reduced under Prop 47.
Prop 47, which creates a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund, changes drug and theft crimes involving $950 or less to misdemeanors, resulting in reduced sentences for individuals serving time now or in the future. This will free up space and beds in state and county jails, which means money saved that can be re-appropriated to the Board of State and Community Correction and other agencies for programs for schools, drug treatment, and victim services.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates over 4,700 state prison inmates may be eligible for sentence reduction or elimination due to Prop 47, both now and in the future.
California, with over 38 million people, is the largest state to implement reform of this type.
In order for a defendant to be reconsidered for a sentence reduction, they must petition the court for a review of their case. Prop 47 requires a “thorough review” of the defendant’s criminal history, as well as a risk assessment, by a judge to ensure they will not pose an unreasonable risk or danger to public safety before re-sentencing can be determined.
There is a three-year window during which an individual may petition the court for a re-sentencing review.
With thousands of petitions being filed statewide, defendants who are seeking to petition the court for sentence reconsideration and reduction under Prop 47 need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Sevens Legal, APC. For those whose crimes are not covered under Prop 47, other remedies may be available for reduction under Penal Code 17(b).
At the Sevens Legal, APC, Law Offices we are prepared to assist you with your Prop 47 case. To determine if you qualify for a Prop 47 sentence reduction, contact us at (619) 430-2355 or online for a free consultation to discuss your case.