On November 4, 2014, the voters of California passed Proposition 47, a law that reduces some felonies to misdemeanors.
You may be able to have your most recent case, and any earlier cases, changed from felonies to misdemeanors if you were convicted of the following charges:
• Commercial Burglary of a Store During Regular Business Hours (PC § 459)
• Forgery (PC § 473)
• Fraud/Bad Checks (PC § 476a)
• Grand Theft (PC § 487)
• Petty Theft/Shoplifting (PC §§ 484/666)
• Possession of Methamphetamine (HS § 11377)
• Possession of Cocaine or Heroin (HS § 11350)
• Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (HS § 11357(a))
• Receiving Stolen Property (PC § 496)
• Shoplifting (PC § 484/666)
For theft charges to be reduced, the amount stolen must have been less than $950.
Also, the court will not change your charges from felonies to misdemeanors if you have certain strike priors, or if you are required to register pursuant to Penal Code section 290(c).
Charges will not be reduced for anyone who has certain priors, and for most people who are registered sex offenders. Click here for a list of most of the convictions that will prohibit the court from reducing your charges.
If there is any question about whether your felony case(s) should be reduced, there may be a court hearing where you will be represented by an appointed lawyer or any lawyer you hire.
It is possible you may be released from jail. The maximum jail time for most misdemeanors is one year in jail. However, if you have other cases or charges that are holding you in custody, you will not be released even if you receive a reduction on one or more charges.
If you have no other charges keeping you in state prison, you may be released from prison. If your case is reduced to a misdemeanor, your maximum sentence is no more than a year in county jail. You cannot be sentenced to prison on a misdemeanor, but you can be sentenced to county jail.
This will depend on the type of sentence you received before, and the decision will be made by the judge who resentences you. If you are resentenced, you should receive a Minute Order from the court before you are released. The Minute Order will say what happened in court. Read it carefully to see if you have been ordered to report to probation or parole when you are released. If the Minute Order says you need to report on probation or parole, you must report even if you think there has been a mistake. You will also have to comply with any conditions that are ordered by the Court, probation or parole.
Yes. Any restitution orders will remain in full force and effect. However, your fines may be decreased due to the reduction. Please check your Minute Order when you are released to see how much you owe.
Probably. To vote in the state of California, you must be 18 years or older and a state resident. You can even vote while you are still on probation.
However, you cannot be:
• in prison,
• on parole,
• currently serving a local state prison sentence in county jail,
• currently serving a “split” sentence (this is sometimes called “Mandatory Supervision”), or
• on Post Release Community Supervision.
For more information about where you can pick up an application to register to vote, or to register to vote on line, go to: http://registertovote.ca.gov/
According to the new law, any felony conviction that is recalled and resentenced or designated as a misdemeanor is a misdemeanor for all purposes, except for your ability to own a gun.
In general, it is better to have a misdemeanor than a felony on your record. However, this may depend on whether your misdemeanor record includes drug offenses. For more detailed information, please see:
Probably. The law does not let people serve on juries if they have felonies, or if they have committed malfeasance in a public office.
No. Even if your felonies are reduced, it will still be a crime for you to own or possess a gun.
For information about services, you can call the Access and Crisis line at 888-724-7240. This line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Please call the Office of the Primary Public Defender at (619) 338-4700 and ask to speak to someone about Proposition 47. The Office of the Primary Public Defender will assist you, even if you had an attorney from the Office of the Alternate Public Defender, a court appointed panel attorney, or you retained an attorney and now cannot afford to pay the attorney for assistance.