California Proposition 47

Reducing Felonies To Misdemeanors For Theft And Drug Crimes

In November 2014 California voters approved Proposition 47 which is a sentencing reform measure designed to roll back unfair and outdated sentencing guidelines for certain drug and theft offenses. The provisions of Prop 47 are fully retroactive, setting forth a mechanism of relief for defendants who are currently in jail serving sentences or who have already completed their sentences. Under Proposition 47, certain non-serious and non- violent crimes are reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. This means:

  • Individuals serving sentences for crimes now felonies may be eligible under Proposition 47 for reductions to misdemeanors, re-sentencing, and/or release.
  • Individuals who were convicted of a felony and completed their sentence may be eligible to have their felony reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47.

Crimes Eligible For Reduction Under Prop 47

Proposition 47 allows for the following California crimes that were previously charged as felonies to be reduced to misdemeanors:

Personal Use of Drugs:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Health & Safety Code section 11350;
  • Possession of Concentrated Cannabis – Health & Safety Code section 11357; and
  • Possession of Methamphetamine – Health & Safety Code section 11377.

These drug misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in county jail.

Theft Crimes:

  • Grand Theft (Penal Code section 487) crimes where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950 is now a misdemeanor charged as petty theft punishable under Penal Code section 490.2, by up to six months in county jail. Grand Theft Firearms is excluded from Prop 47.
  • Receiving Stolen Property (Penal Code section 496 ) is now a misdemeanor if the value of property does not exceed $950. It is punishable by up 1 year in county jail.
  • Commercial Burglary (Penal Code section 459) Entering a commercial establishment during regular business hours with intent to commit theft where the value of the theft does not exceed $950. It is punishable by up to 6 months in county jail.
  • Forgery (Penal Code sections 470, 471, 472, 473, 475, 476, 484f and 484i) is now a misdemeanor unless a defendant has previously been convicted of Identity Theft under Penal Code section 530.5. Misdemeanor Forgery is punishable by up to 1 year in county jail.
  • Writing Bad Checks (Penal Code section 476a) not exceeding $950 is now a misdemeanor unless the defendant has 3 or more prior convictions for Penal Code sections 470, 475, or 476. The punishmnet for the misdemeanor is up to one year in county jail.
  • Petty Theft With a Prior (Penal code sections 484/666) is now a misdemeanor unless the defendant has to register as a sex offender; has a disqualifying prior or has a conviction for Penal Code section 368 (d) or (e), which includes crimes of theft against elder or dependent adults. The maximum penalty for misdemeanor petty theft with a prior is one year in county jail.

Proposition 47 does not automatically reduce an existing felony conviction to a misdemeanor. Those people with existing felony convictions should petition the court with the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. Proposition 47 is available till November 4, 2022, so it is important for people to act quickly on this. Individuals with prior convictions for serious or violent crimes under Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(C)(iv), or those individuals with prior convictions who are required to register as sex offenders are excluded from the benefits of Proposition 47.

Contact Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners Today

Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help individuals learn more about reducing their sentences and convictions under Proposition 47. Our legal team is available to assist individuals sentenced and convicted for felony crimes that are now misdemeanors and individuals who face these allegations today.

Every case and individual is unique, and not everyone may be eligible for Proposition 47 re-sentencing. Our lawyers are ready to personally review your situation to determine how we can help you reduce a prior conviction, amend your sentencing, or secure an immediate release. Call us to schedule a no-cost consultation in our office. We can help you.

Contact us today to discuss your case!