What is Proposition 47, and how does it affect my Los Angeles Criminal Case?

Proposition 47 was voted for on November 14, 2014, and was approved. The Proposition reduces the classification for certain non-serious and nonviolent property and drug crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor. This will apply to most offenses and defendants, unless the person being charged has prior offenses for rape, certain sexual offenses, and some gun offenses.

The offenses that will qualify for a reduction include the following:

  • Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Grand theft, where the value of the stolen property does not exceed $950
  • Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950
  • Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
  • Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950
  • Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
  • Personal use of most illegal drugs

This proposition can be applied to people who are currently serving their sentences, if they qualify and do not have any prior offenses as stated previously. Let’s say for example, a person has been charged and convicted of grand theft and are now serving their jail sentence. Under Proposition 47, the jail sentence may be reevaluated and reconsidered, changing the crime from that of a felony with a felony sentence, to that of a misdemeanor which could mean little or no jail time.

However, as stated, each individual case must be considered carefully and reviewed. Evaluators must make a determination taking into account the specific facts of the case and past criminal history to determine whether it would be safe and appropriate to modify the sentence and to reduce the charge.

The purpose behind Proposition 47 is to save some government funds, and direct them towards education and community funds.

If you have been charged and convicted previously of a felony and have been sentenced, it is well worth your time to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer to determine whether anything can be done to reduce your charge. A misdemeanor rather than a felony on you record can have significant consequences on your overall criminal record, and can be useful when applying to financial or educational institutions, licensing institutions and vocational boards.

If you have only been arrested, and have not yet been convicted, Proposition 47 can also be useful to you. It is important to assure that the Prosecutor does not charge you with a felony, when it is not necessary or appropriate under the new Proposition. To assure that your case is evaluated favorably, and proper evidence and arguments are made, be sure to consult with a legal expert who is familiar and experienced with Proposition 47 and all of its intricacies. It does not hurt just to speak to a Los Angeles Attorney, especially one that has a hassle free and cost free consultation. So what are you waiting for?

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