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In 2014, California voters passed Prop 47, also known as the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” Prop 47 created a new penal code section that reclassified certain specified crimes – primarily those involving theft or possession of controlled substances – as misdemeanors. Under the law, people currently serving felony sentences for specific crimes are able to petition the court to reduce their sentences to misdemeanor sentences, and people who have already completed a felony sentence for specific crimes may apply to the court to have their convictions reclassified as misdemeanors.
The impact of Prop 47 has been huge – according to the Sacramento Bee, in the first nine months following Prop 47’s passage, tens of thousands of people have had their felonies reduced to misdemeanors, and over 4,300 inmates have been released from prison due to resentencing. Despite these advances, there is still a lot of misleading information floating around concerning the application and impact that Prop 47 has on a person’s record.
What Offenses Qualify for Reclassification Under Prop 47?
Prop 47 covers a wide range of non-violent crimes. If you have a conviction for any of the following felonies and you are not disqualified (see below), you may ask the sentencing judge to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor. The qualifying felonies are:
Limitations of Prop 47
Prop 47, while vast in its application, does have its limitations. Not everyone convicted of a qualifying offense can seek relief under Prop 47, as Prop 47 is inapplicable to people who have been convicted of certain crimes in the past. Prop 47 does not apply to anyone who has a prior conviction:
For many people convicted of certain felonies, Prop 47 can have immediate benefits, including early release from custody, termination of probation or parole, and the reduction of qualifying felonies to misdemeanors. If you or a loved one qualify for relief under Prop 47, contact an attorney for a free consultation today.
Law Offices of Meghan Blanco