Changing Your Record Under Proposition 47
Proposition 47 allows many, specific nonviolent, lower level felonies to be converted to misdemeanors. If someone has a criminal record with felony charges, they might be eligible to have those felonies knocked down to a misdemeanor. This will apply to the following charges:
- Drug possession (simple with no extenuating circumstances)
- Receiving stolen property $950 and under
- Shoplifting $950 and under
- Petty theft $950 and under
- Writing bad checks/Forgery $950 and under
There are many crimes that will cause some, otherwise eligible defendants, to be ineligible for the reduction. They include murder, rape and child molestation. You are also ineligible if your name is on the sex-offender registry. A complete list of ineligible offenses can be found here: http://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/public_defender/Prop47Excludable.html
If you want to learn more about the reclassification program, you can check out California Attorneys for Criminal Justice website: http://www.cacj.org/Legislation/Prop-47.aspx
David Givot will happily assist in the securing a Prop 47 reduction.
This information is not intended to take the place of legal advice and should not be used as such. Contact your attorney if you have any questions and want legal advice.*
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does Proposition 47 do?
A. Proposition 47 was passed on November 4, 2014 by California voters. The law reduces lower level felony crimes to misdemeanors. Simple drug possession, petty theft and similar charges may be converted down for eligible defendants by following the proper procedures.
The savings gained by the State Prison system will be used to fund mental health programs for inmates, grants for drug treatment programs and educational programs for at-risk students in schools that educate K-12 as well as services designed to aid victims.
Q. Can my felony charge be converted to a misdemeanor?
A. It is possible to have your felonies converted to misdemeanors if you have been charged with any of the following crimes:
- PC §496 – Receipt of Stolen Property under $950
- HS §11357(a) – Possession of Concentrated Cannabis
- HS §11350 – Possession of Controlled Substance
- HS §11377 – Possession of Methamphetamine
- PC §§484, 484/666 Petty Theft/Shoplifting of under $950
- PC §487 – Grand Theft under $950
- PC §476a – Bad Checks/Fraud under $950
- PC §470-476 – Forgery under $950
- PC §459 – Shoplifting/Commercial Burglary under $950 of Store during Business Hours
Q. Can I be resentenced if I am already in jail?
A. YES! Even if you are currently serving time for one of the crimes mentioned above, you may be able to get your charges converted, allowing for resentencing and early release.
Registered sex offenders and individuals with other, more serious criminal histories may not be eligible.
Having charges reduced begins with a written petition to a Judge.
Q. What do I have to do to get resentenced?
A. The Law Offices of David J. Givot will happily to guide you through the process.
Q. Can the felonies on my old criminal record be converted to misdemeanors, even if I have not been in the criminal justice system for a few years?
A. Yes, Proposition 47 is retroactive. Your eligible felonies can be converted to misdemeanors no matter how many years ago the convictions took place. This supersedes any other previous denials you may have received when attempting to change your felonies to misdemeanors, whether they were at your sentencing, a pre-conviction hearing or an expungement hearing.
Q. What do I need to do to get my record changed?
A. Petitions must be filed in the Superior Court of each county where you have eligible felony convictions. A skilled attorney can handle this for you.
Q. Is a court hearing required?
A. In most cases, a court hearing is not needed. However, a hearing may be scheduled is if there are circumstances than cannot be otherwise resolved.
Q. If my case is converted to a misdemeanor and I'm still in jail, will I get out early?
A. Possibly. Misdemeanor offenses call for up to one year in jail as the maximum allowable sentence in the county jail. If you have already been incarcerated for longer than one year, you should be released. If you have not yet served the full year, the court may decide to look into the situation and discuss whether or not the charge should be lowered. If you have other charges pending that could require you to be remanded, you will not be released early.
Q. If my charge is reduced while I'm in prison, can I be released?
A. You may be eligible for early release if you do not have any other charges causing you to remain in prison. The maximum sentence allowable for a misdemeanor is up to one year in county jail. You cannot be sentenced to prison on a misdemeanor. If you have already served the full year in prison, you will probably be released. If not, you may be sent to your county jail to serve the remainder of the year sentence.
Q. If I'm released early from jail or prison because my felony was converted to a misdemeanor, will I have to be on probation or parole?
A. The judge who handles the felony to misdemeanor change will make that determination. Normally, it will depend on the nature of your charge and how long you have served. Once you have been resentenced, you will receive a Minute Order from the judge. Go over it thoroughly to find out if you have been ordered to report to a probation or parole officer as part of your release agreement. You must comply with all of the court's orders, terms and conditions. If you have any questions or believe something is in error, call your public defender or attorney, immediately.
Q. If my charges are reduced, am I still obligated to pay restitution?
A. Yes. Your restitution will remain in effect because that is what is owed to cover the injured party's losses. Your court fines and fees, however, may be reduced to that which is owed for the lesser charge. Your Minute Order will contain all of the financial aspects of your case, including your restitution amounts and the new court fees and fines.
Q. Who do I call if I have questions about Proposition 47?
A. The Law Offices of David J. Givot will answer any questions you may have.