Proposition 47 Relief in California
- Penal Code §1170.18 -
Prop 47 Post-conviction Relief - PC 1170.18
Proposition 47 (a.k.a. Prop. 47) was a groundbreaking initiative passed by California voters in 2014 that caused a significant shift in the state's criminal justice landscape. This landmark proposition aimed to reduce the burden of non-violent, low-level offenses on individuals and the justice system.
Under Prop. 47, certain non-serious, non-sexual offenses were reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. This change not only had a substantial impact on sentencing and incarceration but also paved the way for thousands of Californians to have their prior convictions reduced or reclassified.
1. What is Prop. 47 and what does it do?
Prop. 47 is codified under California Penal Code section 1170.18, though the section is often referred to as Prop. 47. Prop. 47 provides many benefits to individuals convicted of certain low-level felonies.
Most importantly, it provides for reduced penalties and punishment for persons convicted of crimes listed within the statute. However, it also permits those who have previously been convicted but are no longer serving their sentence to have their convictions reduced from felonies to misdemeanors.
The section provides for two distinct criminal law procedures that can assist in reducing the lifelong consequences of a felony conviction.
Reclassification: One of the procedures enumerated in Prop. 47 is reclassification of certain felonies as misdemeanors. A person who has completed their sentence can apply to the court to “reclassify” their felony conviction as a misdemeanor under the procedures prescribed in section 1170.18(f)–(h).
Resentencing: The other procedure listed in Prop. 47 allows persons currently serving their sentence to petition the court to be “resentenced” as a misdemeanor offender under the procedures prescribed in section 1170.18(a)–(e), (i)–(o).
An experienced lawyer can explain all of the potential benefits of Proposition 47 and how it can help you!
2. Who is eligible for Prop. 47 post-conviction relief?
Reclassification and resentencing under Prop. 47 applies to persons who have been charged and convicted of low-level, non-violent felonies, including but not limited to the following:
Drug Possession: Prior to Prop. 47 various drug possession offenses were classified as felonies, while others could be charges as either a felony or a misdemeanor. With the enactment of Prop. 47, simple possession of drugs for personal use was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Theft Crimes: While most crimes involving the theft of property valued at less than $950 were classified as misdemeanors, some thefts could be charged as felonies. Moreover, persons with a prior criminal record could also be charged with a felony. Prop. 47 reclassified those theft offenses as misdemeanors.
Shoplifting: Although shoplifting is normally considered a low-level offense, some prosecutors were charging the act of shoplifting as burglary thereby allowing them to charge defendants with felony offenses. Prop. 47 now specifically prohibits this conduct and permits those who were charged with felony offenses to have their convictions reclassified as misdemeanor shoplifting offenses.
3. Who is NOT eligible for Prop. 47 post-conviction relief?
Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible for Prop. 47 resentencing and reclassification. Persons with felony convictions for sex offenses, including rape and child molestation, are typically not eligible for relief under Proposition 47. The proposition explicitly excludes these offenses.
Additionally, individuals who have prior "Three Strikes" convictions and are eligible for a life sentence under the "Three Strikes" law are generally not eligible for relief under Proposition 47.
It's important to note that the eligibility criteria for Proposition 47 relief can vary, and there may be exceptions or nuances based on the specific facts of each case. If you are unsure about your eligibility for relief under Proposition 47, it is advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in criminal record relief in California.
An attorney can assess your case and provide guidance on whether you qualify for reclassification or reduction of your prior felony convictions under the provisions of Proposition 47.
Contact An Orange County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Unlock a brighter future by taking the first step towards cleaning your criminal record with JPLaw, P.C. Speak to an experienced legal professional that can help you navigate the complex process of seeking post-conviction relief under Prop. 47 in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Diego County.
Don't let past mistakes hinder your opportunities for employment, housing, and a fresh start in life. Contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation and discover how we can tailor a personalized legal strategy to help clean your record, paving the way for a brighter tomorrow. Your second chance is just a phone call away!