In November, 2014, Proposition 47, aslso known as "The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act," was passed by the California voters.
Proposition 47 created a new Penal Code section, §1170.18, which allows defendants currently serving felony sentences for specified crimes to petition the sentencing court to have their sentences reduced to misdemeanor sentences.
Also, under Prop 47, defendants who have already completed a sentence for a felony that qualifies under the new law may motion the court to have their felony convictions reclassified as misdemeanors.
According to Prop 47, A defendant does not qualify for a reduction and reclassification of a qualifying felony to a misdemeanor in the following circumstances:
- Defendants who are required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290(c).
- Defendants that have a prior conviction for any homicide (Penal Code §§ 187 to 191.5), attempted homicide or solicitation to commit murder.
- Defendants that have a prior conviction for a sexually violent offense listed in Welfare and Institution Code section 6600(b). This includes rape, spousal rape, rape in concert, aggravated sexual assault of a child, sodomy, lewd acts on a child under 14, oral copulation, continuous sexual abuse of a child under age 14 and sexual penetration, kidnapping with the intent to commit one of those offenses, and or assault with the intent to commit one of those offenses, when committed by force, violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, or threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person.
- Defendants that have a prior conviction for any serious or violent felony punishable by death or life in prison.
- Defendants that have a prior conviction for possession of a weapon of mass destruction.
- Defendants that have a prior conviction for assault on a peace officer or a firefighter with a machine gun.
Under Prop 47, If a defendant is not disqualified according to the parameters set out above, the defendant may motion the sentencing judge to reduce his or her conviction to a misdemeanor. The qualifying felonies include:
- Commercial Burglary (Penal Code § 459) that meets the definition of the new crime of shoplifting (see below for that definition)
- Passing bad checks (PenalCode § 476(a)) if the aggregate amount of the checks does not exceed $950, and you have no more than two prior convictions for violations of Penal Code §§ 470, 475, 476 or 476a
- Grand theft (Penal Code §§ 487(a)-(d), 487a, 487b, 487c, 487d, 487f, 487g, 487h, 487i and 487j) if the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950.
- Receiving stolen property (Penal Code § 496(a)) if the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950.
- Unlawful possession of a controlled substance (Health and Safety code §§ 11350(a), 11357(a) and 11377(a).
Proposition 47 also created the new crime of shoplifting (Penal Code section 459.5).
Shoplifting is defined as entering a commercial establishment while the establishment is open during regular business hours with the intent to commit larceny where the value of the property taken does not exceed $950. Any act of shoplifting must be charged as shoplifting and may not be charged as burglary or theft.
To learn more about California Prop 47 contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today. There is no cost to discuss your Prop 47 case with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
100% of attorney Dorado's practice is devoted to criminal defense and our office is available 24/7 to answer all of your questions.