Friday, November 28, 2014

Proposition 47 Revisited

In earlier posts, we discussed California's recently-enacted Proposition 47 (reducing some felonies to misdemeanors) and the Collateral Consequences Resource Center. Well, it turns out the Resource Center has a good information on Proposition 47, available here. David Freund, an Assistant Federal Defender in Wichita, noticed the post. Here's a blurb from it on the importance of the retroactive effect of California's new law:
While Proposition 47 gained popular support as a way of reducing California’s prison population, its broadest and most significant long-term effect may be to reduce the impact of collateral consequences on people in the community.  For criminal defense lawyers, Proposition 47 offers a significant way to reduce a client’s exposure in subsequent prosecutions.

From Dave:
Prop 47 is definitely something to keep in mind if you handle federal cases, and if you have any state court clients with prior California convictions for covered offenses.

With the passage of Proposition 47, certain low-level, nonviolent felonies can now be changed to misdemeanors on old criminal records. If you or someone you know has a prior criminal record with a felony record for any of the following crimes, you may qualify to remove the felony from your record and change it to a misdemeanor:
Shoplifting, i.e. Commercial Burglary of $950 or less of a Store during Business Hours (PC §459) 

Forgery of $950 or less (PC §470-476)

Fraud/Bad Checks of $950 or less (PC §476a)

Grand Theft of $950 or less (PC §487)
Petty Theft/Shoplifting of $950 or less (PC §§484, 484/666)

Possession of Methamphetamine (HS §11377)

Possession of Controlled Substance (HS §11350)

Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (HS §11357(a))
Receiving Stolen Property of $950 or less (PC §496)

Remember, these are prior California convictions. Keep this information handy in case you run into one in one of your cases.  

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