Penalties for common drug and theft crimes in California will be reduced from potential felonies to misdemeanors, shortening the time some offenders spend behind bars. Crimes covered by the measure include drug possession and the following offenses when less than $950 is involved: shoplifting, check and credit fraud, forgery, theft and possession of stolen property.
Prop 47 adds section 1170.18 to the Penal Code, which makes the reduced sentencing provisions retroactive. Section 1170.18 lays out the procedure for those serving sentences or those who have already served their sentences to petition to have felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors.
Those who have completed their sentence can apply to the trial court to have the felony conviction or convictions designated as a misdemeanor if he or she would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under this act.
Petitioners who have completed the sentence and are seeking to have the felony designated as a misdemeanor are entitled to that relief if they meet certain requirements. The court has little discretion in deciding whether the grant or deny the application.
The applicant must apply within three years of this law becoming effective; this law was effective Nov 5, 2014.
Please contact us if you are interested in potentially reducing your case; this will be particularity advantageous to those persons convicted of certain drug possession offenses (such as simple possession of Cocaine) that previously were felonies only.