Proposition 47 passed on November 4, 2014, and immediately went into effect. You can now find it labeled as Penal Code section 1170.18.

As you may know, that law reclassifies specified non-violent crimes.

Just as importantly, people who were convicted of those specified crimes before the law passed can ask the court to have their conviction reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor.

This can have a tremendous effect on a person’s life.

The question for you is, is the crime I was convicted of now eligible to be reduced to a misdemeanor?

If you were convicted of any of the following, then you should contact us immediately for more information; (1) Health and Safety Code section 11350 – possession of a drug, (2) Health and Safety Code section 11357 – possession of marijuana, (3) Health and Safety Code section 11377 – possession of a drug, (4) Penal Code section 459.5 – shoplifting $950 or less, (5) Penal Code section 473 – forgery, (6) Penal Code section 476a – intentionally bouncing a check, (7) Penal Code section 490.2 – theft of items with a value of $950 or less, (8) Penal Code section 496 – receiving stolen property with a value of $950 or less, and (9) Penal Code section 666 – petty theft with a prior conviction of specified crimes.

Requesting the court to reclassify your conviction requires filing Local Form SO-CR47 with the court.

As in almost all cases, it is not as easy as simply filing that form. You must also provide notice to the district attorney in the county of your conviction.

In some many cases the facts are clear enough that no hearing on the request is necessary. However, some cases may require a hearing so that the judge can be provided with the information necessary to be sure that your crime falls within those eligible to be reduced.

For instance, the court will not reclassify a person’s conviction if the court becomes convinced by the district attorney that the person poses an unreasonable risk to public safety.

In making this determination, the court will consider the person’s criminal record, disciplinary record, and any other information the court finds relevant to this determination.

It is satisfying to see our criminal laws become more lenient on non-violent crimes.

Often, these crimes are committed by people who have either lost their way or just simply made a bad decisionbut are good people otherwise. Why not give these people a chance to change and find their way back to the straight and narrow or give them the space to make better decisions.

Now these people can make these adjustments to their lives without also having to contend with the stigma and consequence of being a felon for life.

If you would like to find out more about this new law, please contact us now.