On November 4, 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, which permits individuals convicted of certain non-violent offenses to reduce their felony conviction to a misdemeanor. Read on to learn more about Proposition 47, why it was necessary, and how you can seek relief under Proposition 47.
Understanding California Prop 47
Proposition 47, also called Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. Initiative Statute, was a ballot measure passed on November 5, 2014. It was also known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act by its supporters.
The measure was endorsed by the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times, which said it was a great way for California to make smarter use of its incarceration and criminal justice resources. The editorial board of The New York Times also praised Prop 47 as a way to reduce overcrowding in California prisons.
Other prominent supporters included the American Civil Liberties Union, which donated $3.5 million to support it, Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, and musician Jay-Z.
Prop 47 Summary
The purpose of Prop 47 is to keep offenders out of jail and prison and save money. It has been successful: according to a November 2015 report by Stanford University Justice Advocacy Project, Proposition 47 saved the state around $150 million and reduced California’s prison population by 13,000 that year.
To summarize, Proposition 47 recategorized certain non-violent offenses as misdemeanors, which do not carry state prison time as felony convictions do. The measure affected the following crimes where the value does not exceed $950:
- Grand theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Writing a bed check
- Personal use of most illegal drugs (below a certain weight threshold)
Finding Relief Under Proposition 47
Individuals may be eligible for reduction under Proposition 47 if they:
- Have been convicted of any of the crimes listed above;
- Do not have convictions for “super strikes,” which include serious and violent crimes like identity theft, child molestation, murder, and rape; and
- Have never been registered as a sex offender under California Penal Code § 290(c).
To find out whether you or a loved one are eligible for finding relief under Proposition 47, contact the Law Office of Salvatore P. Ciulla. Experienced, tenacious, and compassionate attorney Salvatore Ciulla will thoroughly analyze your case to determine Prop 47 eligibility. He will also:
- Guide you through the paperwork and file your petition in the court that handed down the original felony judgment
- Serve forms to the district attorney’s office to demonstrate that you are asking for a reduction
- Argue that there was reasonable cause for submitting your reduction petition after November 4, 2022
If the court agrees that you are eligible for reduction under Prop 47, it will change your felony to a misdemeanor. Note, however, that obtaining relief under Prop 47 will not restore your right to own a firearm.
We’re in Your Corner
Obtaining relief under Proposition 47 can be an uphill battle. Accordingly, it is essential to have an experienced Prop 47 lawyer represent you.
At the Law Office of Salvatore P. Ciulla, we will thoroughly review your case to determine the best course of action. If you are eligible, we will walk you through the process. Call us today at 714-542-0500 or fill in this online form to learn more about your options.