WHAT IS PROPOSITION 47? DO I QUALIFY FOR A REDUCTION UNDER PROPOSITION 47?
Proposition 47 requires that a misdemeanor sentence be imposed instead of a felony sentence for certain drug and property offenses. However, this proposition does not apply to individuals who have previously been convicted for a serious or violent crime (a strike offense) and for registered sex offenders. The hope is that by passing proposition 47 the State and County could potentially create a savings in the high hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The money that is saved pursuant to this proposition will be spent on school truancy and dropout prevention, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and victim services.
The passage of proposition 47 shall take effect immediately for all qualifying offenders currently pending specified criminal charges. In addition it permits re-sentencing for anyone currently serving a prison sentence for any of the offenses that the initiative reduces to misdemeanors. It has been estimated that about 10,000 inmates would be eligible for re sentencing under this proposition. However, prior to re sentencing there must be a “thorough review” of criminal history and risk assessment of any individuals before a reductions can occur to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the public.
The passage of this measure requires misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes:
1. Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950.
2. Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950.
3. Receiving stolen property, where the value of check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
4. Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
5. Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
6. Personal use of most illegal drugs
The law is changing constantly and proposition 47 represents a new frontier in the legal community. The impact is yet unknown, how far this measure reaches is equally unknown. What is known is that there are many individuals who are affected by this proposition and you will want an attorney to help guide you through these uncharted waters. There is no "automatic" reduction for those who have been previously convicted of any of the above specified crimes, which means you will need to go back to court and make a request to have your matter reduced pursuant to proposition 47. If you believe you qualify for a reduction then please contact us and let us help you receive the reduction you deserve.