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The voters of California passed Proposition 47 in the November 2014, election. Proposition 47 changed the law in California as it relates to certain felony offenses. The law now requires some low level offenses, (which were felonies), to be charged as misdemeanors or, allows an individual to have a qualifying prior felony conviction reclassified as a misdemeanor.

Is my felony charge or conviction effected by Proposition 47.

It may be possible to have your current felony case, or your prior felony conviction, reclassified from a felony to misdemeanor. If you were convicted of one or more of the following charges contact a criminal defense attorney to see if your charges are affected by Proposition 47:

Shoplifting, (Commercial Burglary) of $950 or less of a Store during Business Hours (PC §459)

Forgery of $950 or less (PC §470-476)

Fraud/Bad Checks of $950 or less (PC §476a)

Grand Theft of $950 or less (PC §487)

Petty Theft/Shoplifting of $950 or less (PC §§484, 484/666)

Possession of Methamphetamine (HS §11377)

Possession of Controlled Substance (HS §11350)

Possession of Concentrated Cannabis (HS §11357(a))

Receiving Stolen Property of $950 or less (PC §496)

What if I am currently serving a prison sentence or I am currently incarcerated. Will Proposition 47 effect my sentence.

Maybe. If you were convicted of a Proposition 47 enumerated offense and you are currently serving a sentence for the offense, you may be eligible for resentencing and possible immediate release from custody. Individuals with specific priors felony convictions as defined in California Penal Code 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) and people required to register as sex offenders are excluded. You must petition the court where you were convicted for Proposition 47 relief. The judge who sentenced you has discretion to release you provided the judge makes the appropriate findings.

Can I have my felony conviction changed to a misdemeanor in a prior case, even if I am not currently serving a sentence or on probation.

Again, maybe. The voters directed Proposition 47 to apply to prior convictions. If you are eligible you can have any qualifying prior felony conviction reduced to misdemeanors no matter how long ago the conviction occurred. This is true even if you were previously denied a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor by the court during any pre-conviction court hearing, at sentencing, or after requesting Penal Code Section 17(b) relief.

What is the procedure to have my felony reduced under Proposition 47.

You must file a petition to be resentenced or to have your felony charge reclassified. You must file the petition in the county where your conviction occurred and where you were sentenced. There are certain requirements to have the petition filed. You should consult a qualified criminal defense attorney in order to ensure your Proposition 47 petition is granted. Each Superior Court in California has developed its own local rules on how to proceed with seeking Proposition 47relief. In addition, each Superior Court in California has developed and approved its own Propositioin 47 petition form.

Will there be a court hearing.

It depends on what type of relief you are requesting under Proposition 47. The court may schedule a hearing to determine any questions of eligibility, including, but not limited to, any disqualifiers.

If I’m in jail and my case is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, will I get out of jail or prison.

There is a good chance that you will be released from custody. Most misdemeanors have a maximum term of confinement of one year in county jail. If you have served more than a year in custody, you should be released. If you have not served the maximum term of confinement it may be possible to convince the court for credit for time served. If granted credit for time served, you would be released from custody if you have no other convictions for which you are also serving a jail or prison commitment.

If my case is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, will I be on probation or parole when I am released from jail or prison.

This will depend. Under Proposition 47 a person who is resentenced shall be given credit for time served and shall be subject to parole for one year following completion of his or her sentence, unless the court, in its discretion, as part of its resentencing order, releases the person from parole. The decision to place you on parole will be made by the judge who conducts the resentencing.

If my felony is reduced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Proposition 47 will I get my gun rights restored.

No. Proposition 47, [Penal Code Section 1170.18(k)] specifically prohibits the restoration of gun rights if your case is reduced due to the changes required by Proposition 47. You should consult a criminal defense attorney since there are alternatives to Proposition 47 reduction, including expungement, to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor which will restore your gun rights, provided you do not have any other firearms prohibitions or disqualifiers.

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The Sierra Law Center is a full service litigation law firm that limits its practice to Northern California, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Domestic Violence Defense, Northern California Expungement, Restore Gun Rights California, Penal Code Section 273.5(a), Penal Code Section 273.5a, Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), Felony, Murder, Homicide, Preliminary Hearing, Misdemeanor, Certificate of Rehabilitation, Traffic Tickets, Traffic Citations, Proposition 47 Petitions, in Nevada County, Grass Valley, Nevada City, Truckee, Lassen County, Susanville, City of Susanville, Placer County, Roseville, Rocklin, Auburn, El Dorado County, Tahoe City, Yuba County, Marysville, Sutter County, Yuba City, Sacramento, Downieville, and Sierra County.