How to Get Resentenced under Proposition 47

On November 5, 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, the “Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.”1

This initiative reduces the penalties for certain theft crimes and drug crimes in California.2

Specifically, Proposition 47 takes several crimes that were previously felonies or wobblers in California law (meaning that they could be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor), and changes them to misdemeanors in most situations.3

This means that the maximum penalty for these crimes will generally be:

  • Up to one (1) year in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).4
Prop47_voting-optimized
California voters passed Proposition 47 in November 2014.

California crimes affected by Prop 47

The felony/wobbler offenses that are changed to misdemeanors under Prop 47 are:

Eligibility for Proposition 47 sentencing

Under Prop 47, most defendants will be charged with a misdemeanor if they are accused of one of the above-listed crimes.6

But some defendants may still face felony penalties for these offenses. The Prop 47 sentence reductions will not apply to:

  • Defendants who have previous convictions for certain serious crimes, including rape, murder, and sex crimes against children; and
  • Defendants who are required to register as sex offenders for prior sex offense convictions.7

Resentencing under Proposition 47

Proposition 47 allows people already facing felony penalties for one of the crimes listed above to apply to a judge for resentencing.8

A successful application for resentencing means you will be deemed to have been convicted of a misdemeanor—not a felony—and will be eligible for an earlier release from jail/prison. In some cases, you may be eligible for immediate release.

In this article, our California criminal defense lawyers explain Proposition 47—and how to appeal your sentence if the new law affects you—by addressing the following:

1. Prop 47 Conversion of Felonies/Wobblers to Misdemeanors

1.1. Theft crimes
1.2. Check forgery/check fraud
1.3. Drug crimes

2. Who Is Eligible for Sentencing or Re-sentencing Under Prop 47?

2.1. Sex crimes convictions
2.2. Serious violent felony convictions

3. Appealing Your Sentence under Prop 47

4. The Fight to Pass Proposition 47

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

1. Prop 47 Conversion of Felonies/Wobblers to Misdemeanors

Proposition 47's primary impact on California criminal law is to change certain theft and drug offenses from felonies or wobblers to misdemeanors.9

A “wobbler” is a California crime that may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony at the prosecutor's discretion, usually depending on:

  1. The particular facts of the case, and
  2. The defendant's criminal history.10

Prop 47 basically removes the option for the prosecutor to charge certain offenses as felonies in most cases. Instead, these offenses will be misdemeanors for most defendants.11

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Proposition 47 means that fewer California crimes will carry lengthy prison sentences.

The maximum penalties for a California misdemeanor are:

  • Six (6) months or one (1) year in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).12

In contrast, even the least serious felonies in California carry the following penalties:

  • At least sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).13

So for defendants accused (or convicted) of one of the crimes covered by Proposition 47, the initiative could make a huge difference to their sentence.

Example: In October of 2014, Chris is charged with possession of concentrated cannabis under Health & Safety Code 11357.

Because he has previous convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession and disturbing the peace on his record, the prosecutor decides to charge him with possession as a felony.

Chris's lawyer informs him that he could be sentenced to up to three (3) years in jail.

However, while Chris is awaiting his trial, Proposition 47 passes. This means that possession of concentrated cannabis will necessarily be a misdemeanor for a defendant like Chris.

So the maximum jail sentence Chris will face is one (1) year.

The crimes that are affected by Prop 47's passage are:

1.1. Theft crimes

Grand theft auto/grand theft firearm

Proposition 47 provides that all thefts of property worth nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less will be considered petty theft—a misdemeanor under California law.14

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Under Prop 47, grand theft firearm will no longer be a felony if the gun is worth $950 or less.

The maximum sentence for petty theft is six (6) months in county jail.15

In contrast, under the previous law, any theft of property from off of someone's person (as in pickpocketing), and any theft of

  • a motor vehicle, or
  • a firearm,

was considered grand theft.16 (This is what gave rise to the terms “grand theft auto” and “grand theft firearm.”)

Grand theft is a wobbler, and grand theft firearm (prior to the passage of Prop 47) was a felony. Each involved a potential jail sentence of up to three (3) years.17

Example: Carmen is accused of stealing an old, high-mileage car that is not worth more than $500.

Prior to Proposition 47, the prosecutor would have the option of charging her with felony grand theft auto—and probably would have chosen to do so. This would have meant she was facing 16 months to 3 years in jail.

But after Proposition 47, Carmen's offense is considered petty theft because the car was not worth more than $950.

So her maximum sentence will be 6 months.

Shoplifting

Proposition 47 also clarifies that entering an open business with the intent to steal merchandise will be a misdemeanor, as long as the stolen merchandise is not worth more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).18

This will be known as the offense of shoplifting under Penal Code 459.5 PC.19 The maximum sentence for shoplifting is six (6) months in county jail.20

Prop47_shoplifting-optimized
Proposition 47 creates a new offense called "shoplifting."

In contrast, under pre-Prop 47 law, entering a business intending to steal from it could have been treated as California burglary—which is a wobbler.21

Receiving stolen property

Penal Code 496 PC receiving stolen property is typically a wobbler. Prior the passage of Proposition 47, the district attorney had the option of charging it as a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property was no more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).22

But Prop 47 amended California's receiving stolen property law to provide that the offense can only be a misdemeanor if the value of the property received is no more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950).23

The maximum potential sentence for misdemeanor receiving stolen property under Proposition 47 is one (1) year in county jail.24

Example: Adam helps his brother Tom hide a gun worth $900 that Tom has stolen.

Eventually the brothers are arrested, prior to the passage of Prop 47. Tom is charged with grand theft firearm, and Adam is charged with receiving stolen property as a felony. Adam is convicted and sentenced to 2 years in jail.

But then Proposition 47 passes. Adam's offense is now only a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 1 year.

He and his attorney may apply to get his sentence reduced to what it would be under the new law.

Petty theft with a prior

Prior to the passage of Prop 47, Penal Code 666 PC created the crime of “petty theft with a prior.”25

Img-theft-shoplift-optimized
Proposition 47 eliminates the concept of "petty theft with a prior" for most defendants.

Under the old version of PC 666, if the defendant in a petty theft case had three (3) or more prior convictions for certain theft crimes, then s/he could potentially receive a felony sentence (16 months to 3 years) for the current petty theft charges.26

But Proposition 47 more or less removed the crime of petty theft with a prior from California criminal law.27

Under the new version of the law, most petty theft cases will be misdemeanors no matter how many prior theft convictions the defendant has.28

A major exception to this, though, is that petty theft with a prior may still be charged if the defendant has a prior theft conviction for theft or embezzlement from an elderly person or dependent adult (a form of Penal Code 368 PC California elder abuse).29

1.2. Check forgery/check fraud

Check forgery

Proposition 47 specifies that Penal Code 470 forgery—which is typically a wobbler—will be a misdemeanor if:

  1. The forged document is a check, bond, bank bill, note, cashier's check, traveler's check, or money order;
  2. The value of the forged check or other document is not more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950); and
  3. The defendant is not also convicted of Penal Code 530.5 PC identity theft.30

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor check forgery/check fraud after Prop 47 will be one (1) year in county jail.31

Example: Sarah works as an in-home health care aide for elderly people.

She takes a check from the home of one of her clients, forges the client's signature on it, and tries to use it to buy a $500 bicycle.

Under California law before Proposition 47, the prosecutor may have been tempted to charge Sarah with forgery as a felony because she betrayed an elderly person's trust. Her maximum potential sentence would have been 3 years.

But under the law post-Prop 47, Sarah's offense is a misdemeanor because the check was for no more than $950. Her maximum sentence will be 1 year in county jail.

Bad checks

Also, Proposition 47 amends California's "bad checks" law, Penal Code 476a PC.

Prop47_checkbook-optimized
Proposition 47 changes the penalties for California check fraud.

Under the old version of this law, passing bad checks was a wobbler unless the total value of all of the checks or other instruments involved was four hundred fifty dollars ($450) or less, in which case it was a misdemeanor.32

Under the new law, this offense will be a misdemeanor if the total value of all of the checks or other instruments involved is nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less.33

The maximum sentence for misdemeanor passing bad checks is up to one (1) year in county jail.34

However, the reduced penalties for passing bad checks under $950 do not apply if the defendant has three (3) or more prior convictions for forgery or bad checks35

1.3. Drug crimes

Perhaps the most rational and overdue part of Proposition 47 is its reduction of the potential sentences for several victimless drug crimes.

First of all, Prop 47 turns HS 11350 possession of a controlled substance—which in most cases used to be a felony36—into a misdemeanor with a maximum county jail sentence of one (1) year.37

Prop47_concentrated_20cannabis-optimized
Proposition 47 reduces the penalties for possession of concentrated cannabis.

Second, Proposition 47 turns possession of concentrated cannabis—which used to be a wobbler under Health & Safety Code 1135738—into a misdemeanor carrying a maximum county jail sentence of one (1) year, and a maximum fine of five hundred dollars ($500).39

Finally, Proposition 47 changes the offense of possession of methamphetamine (HS 11377) from a wobbler40 to a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of one (1) year.41

Example: Ralph is arrested for possession of concentrated cannabis in a county where the district attorney is running for election on a “tough on crime” platform.

Ralph is charged with HS 11357 possession of concentrated cannabis as a felony. He is convicted and receives the maximum sentence of three (3) years in jail.

After Ralph is released, Proposition 47 passes. Ralph hires an attorney to apply for a reduction of his conviction from a felony to misdemeanor, as the new law allows.

If successful, Ralph will be able to avoid most of the consequences of a felony conviction on his record.

The following chart summarizes Proposition 47's changes to the maximum penalties for various crimes.

Draft_20chart

2. Who is Eligible for Sentencing or Re-Sentencing under Prop 47?

The revised sentencing laws of Proposition 47 do not apply to all criminal defendants.

Specifically, the reduced sentences set forth in this law will not apply to any defendant who either:

  1. Is required to register as a sex offender under California's Sex Offender Registration Act because of a prior sex crime conviction for which registration is mandatory; OR
  2. Has a prior conviction for any of a list of relatively serious violent felonies.42
2.1. Sex crimes convictions

The sex crimes convictions that can make a defendant ineligible for a Proposition 47 reduced sentence include:

Example: Andre pled guilty to lewd acts with a child fifteen years ago. After two years in prison, he was released on parole. He is required to register as a sex offender in California because of this conviction.

Now, Andre is caught with some cocaine in his car. He is charged with possession of a controlled substance under Health & Safety Code 11350 HS.

But Andre will not be eligible for sentencing under Proposition 47, because he has a prior conviction that requires him to register as a sex offender.

This means that possession of a controlled substance will probably be a felony for Andre—just as it would have been before Prop 47 was passed.

Sex_offender_danger_sign-optimized
Proposition 47 does not apply to defendants with prior convictions for crimes that require sex offender registration.

California's Sex Offender Registration Act also allows judges to require defendants to register even if they aren't convicted of one of the sex crimes listed in that law. A judge can do this if s/he believes the defendant committed another offense for purposes of sexual gratification.44

But people who need to register as a sex offender because of a judge's order ARE eligible for sentencing under Proposition 47. You are only ineligible for Prop 47 sentencing if you were convicted of one of the offenses specifically listed in the Sex Offender Registration Act.45

2.2. Serious violent felony convictions

In addition, convictions for certain serious and/or violent felonies will render a defendant ineligible for sentencing under Prop 47.46

These offenses are:

  • “Sexually violent offenses” under California law—which means sex crimes committed by use of force, violence, or threat of bodily injury or retaliation;
  • Sex crimes against a child under the age of 14;
  • Penal Code 187 PC murder or attempted murder;
  • Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated Penal Code 191.5 ;
  • Solicitation to commit murder;
  • Assault with a machine gun on a peace officer or firefighter;
  • Possession of a weapon of mass destruction; and
  • Any serious and/or violent felony that is punishable by life in prison or death.47

Note that this list is significantly shorter than the lists of “serious felonies” and “violent felonies” that count as “strike offenses” under California's “Three Strikes” law.48

This means that you may well be eligible for sentencing under Proposition 47 even if you have one or more “strike offenses” on your record.

Example: Judy has prior convictions for arson and residential burglary—both of which are “strike offenses.”

Now, she is charged with check fraud for knowingly writing checks totaling $600 with insufficient funds in the account.

Neither arson nor burglary is on the list of crimes that make a defendant ineligible for Prop 47 sentencing. So Judy's current check fraud charges will be subject to Prop 47—which means the offense will be a misdemeanor.

3. Appealing Your Sentence under Prop 47

If you have already been convicted of a felony for a crime that would be a misdemeanor under Prop 47, then you may apply for resentencing under the new law.49

Prop47_drugpossession-optimized
A defendant serving a felony sentence for simple possession could apply for resentencing under Prop 47.

Defendants eligible to appeal their sentences under Prop 47 include BOTH

  1. those who are currently serving a sentence for a crime affected by the initiative, and
  2. those who have completed their sentence for a crime affected by the initiative.50

Petition for resentencing

The process is the same both for people currently serving felony sentences, and for people who have completed their felony sentences.

First, the defendant files a petition for resentencing in the court where s/he was originally convicted.51

Next, the judge determines whether his/her conviction would have been a misdemeanor under Proposition 47.

If it would have been, then the judge is required to grant the petition for resentencing—by changing the conviction to a misdemeanor.52

The only exception is if the judge determines that resentencing the defendant would pose an “unreasonable risk to public safety.”53

An unreasonable risk to public safety means an unreasonable risk that the defendant will commit a new violent felony on the list of crimes (discussed above) that would make him/her ineligible for Prop 47 sentencing (murder, sexually violent offenses, etc.).54

Judge's_gavel-optimized
The judge must resentence defendants eligible for Prop 47 sentencing unless s/he determines that the defendant poses a serious risk to public safety.

In determining whether a defendant poses an unreasonable risk to public safety, the judge may take into consideration:

  • His/her criminal history, including type of crimes committed, extent of injury to victims, length of prior prison sentences, and how long ago past crimes were committed;
  • The defendant's disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated; and
  • Any other evidence the judge considers relevant.55

Defendants currently serving a sentence

According to Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse56:

“If you are still serving a felony sentence for an offense covered by Proposition 47, then a successful petition for resentencing will probably result in a material reduction in your sentence—and could possibly mean immediate release from incarceration.”

At the time of Prop 47's passage, California prison officials had identified almost 5,000 inmates serving felony sentences who would be eligible for resentencing under Prop 47.57

With this many people eligible for resentencing under Prop 47, California courts are likely to face a backlog in processing petitions for resentencing. An experienced criminal defense attorney can be an enormous help for current inmates who want to get their sentence reduced in a timely fashion.

People who have already completed their sentences

A petition for resentencing may be less of an urgent matter for people who have already completed felony sentences for crimes that are misdemeanors under Proposition 47—but it is no less important.

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Reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47 can help an ex-inmate find employment.

For example, a felony conviction on your record can prevent you from

  • serving on a jury,58 or
  • serving in the armed forces.59

You are also required to disclose felony convictions to prospective employers—who take such convictions more seriously than misdemeanor convictions.

Thus, having your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor under Prop 47 can enhance your life in material ways.

However, there is one consequence of a felony conviction that is not changed by Proposition 47—the removal of your right to own a firearm.60

If you were convicted of a felony for an offense that is now a misdemeanor under Prop 47, and you successfully petition for resentencing, you still will not be allowed to own a firearm without violating California's “felon with a firearm” laws.61

4. The Fight to Pass Proposition 47

Proposition 47 is a landmark piece of voter-made law in California.

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Proposition 47's passage shows the power of voters to change draconian criminal laws.

The initiative passed with 58.5% of the vote. Its clear victory shows that Californians have had enough of mass incarceration—and are ready to embrace “smart on crime” approaches instead of “tough on crime” ones.62

Not only will Prop 47 change the lives of people who would otherwise have faced unjustifiably long sentences for minor crimes—it will also save the state of California money. Preliminary estimates of the savings range from $150 million to $250 million every year.63

Under Proposition 47, the money saved from incarcerating fewer people for minor crimes will be used as follows:

  • 25% to the State Department of Education, to support programs aimed at reducing truancy and helping students who are at risk of dropping out or becoming crime victims;
  • 10% to the California victim compensation fund; and
  • 65% to support public agency programs that provide mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and diversion programs for people in the criminal justice system.64

So it's not surprising that a wide range of influential organizations supported Prop 47, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Catholic Conference—and the rapper Jay Z.

Call us for help…

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For questions about Proposition 47 and how to receive a sentence reduction under this initiative, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal appellate attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

Legal References:


1Prop 47 Passes, Reducing Some Crime Penalties ,” Los Angeles Times, Nov. 4, 2014.

2 Same.

3 See California Secretary of State, Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 47.

4 See same.

See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. (“Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors [such as the offenses affected by Prop 47] or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)

5 California Secretary of State, Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 47, Full Text of Initiative.

6 Same.

7 Same.

See also Penal Code 667(e)(2)(C)(iv). (“(iv) The defendant [shall not be eligible for a Proposition 47 sentence if s/he] suffered a prior serious and/or violent felony conviction, as defined in subdivision (d) of this section, for any of the following felonies: (I) A “sexually violent offense” as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 6600 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. (II) Oral copulation with a child who is under 14 years of age, and who is more than 10 years younger than he or she as defined by Section 288a, sodomy with another person who is under 14 years of age and more than 10 years younger than he or she as defined by Section 286, or sexual penetration with another person who is under 14 years of age, and who is more than 10 years younger than he or she, as defined by Section 289. (III) A lewd or lascivious act involving a child under 14 years of age, in violation of Section 288. (IV) Any homicide offense, including any attempted homicide offense, defined in Sections 187 to 191.5, inclusive. (V) Solicitation to commit murder as defined in Section 653f. (VI) Assault with a machine gun on a peace officer or firefighter, as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (d) of Section 245. (VII) Possession of a weapon of mass destruction, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 11418. (VIII) Any serious and/or violent felony offense punishable in California by life imprisonment or death.”)

See also Welfare Code 6600(b) [definition of “sexually violent offense” for Prop 47 purposes]. (“(b) “Sexually violent offense” means the following acts when committed by force, violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, or threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person, and that are committed on, before, or after the effective date of this article and result in a conviction or a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity, as defined in subdivision (a): a felony violation of Section 261, 262, 264.1, 269, 286, 288, 288a, 288.5, or 289 of the Penal Code, or any felony violation of Section 207, 209, or 220 of the Penal Code, committed with the intent to commit a violation of Section 261, 262, 264.1, 286, 288, 288a, or 289 of the Penal Code.”)

8 Penal Code 1170.18 PC – Petition for recall of sentence; resentencing procedures; reduction of felonies to misdemeanors [added by Proposition 47]. (“(a) A person currently serving a sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under the act that added this section (“this act”) [Proposition 47] had this act been in effect at the time of the offense may petition for a recall of sentence before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to request resentencing in accordance with Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, as those sections have been amended or added by this act. (b) Upon receiving a petition under subdivision (a), the court shall determine whether the petitioner satisfies the criteria in subdivision (a). If the petitioner satisfies the criteria in subdivision (a), the petitioner's felony sentence shall be recalled and the petitioner resentenced to a misdemeanor pursuant to Sections 11350, 11357, or 11377 of the Health and Safety Code, or Section 459.5, 473, 476a, 490.2, 496, or 666 of the Penal Code, those sections have been amended or added by this act, unless the court, in its discretion, determines that resentencing the petitioner would pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. In exercising its discretion, the court may consider all of the following: (1) The petitioner's criminal conviction history, including the type of crimes committed, the extent of injury to victims, the length of prior prison commitments, and the remoteness of the crimes. (2) The petitioner's disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated. (3) Any other evidence the court, within its discretion, determines to be relevant in deciding whether a new sentence would result in an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety. (c) As used throughout this Code, “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety” means an unreasonable risk that the petitioner will commit a new violent felony within the meaning of clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667.”)

9 California Secretary of State, Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 47, Full Text of Initiative, endnote 5, above.

10 See, e.g., Health & Safety Code 11350 HS – Possession of controlled substances [old version before Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code. (b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses any controlled substance specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11054 shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.”)

11 California Secretary of State, Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 47, Full Text of Initiative, endnote 5, above.

12 See, e.g., Health & Safety Code 11350 HS – Possession of controlled substances [new version as revised by Proposition 47]. (“a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, except that such person shall instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 of the Penal Code or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.”)

See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment, endnote 4, above.

13 Penal Code 1170(h) PC – Determinate sentencing. (“(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision where the term is not specified in the underlying offense [such as may of the Prop 47 offenses] shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or two or three years.”)

See also Penal Code 672 PC – Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment, endnote 4, above.

14 Penal Code 490.2 PC – Petty theft; punishment of certain repeat offenders [added by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Notwithstanding Section 487 or any other provision of law defining grand theft, obtaining any property by theft where the value of the money, labor, real or personal property taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) shall be considered petty theft and shall be punished as a misdemeanor, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290.”)

15 Penal Code 490 PC – Petty theft; punishment [affected by Prop 47]. (“Petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.”)

16 Penal Code 487 PC – “Grand theft” defined [overridden by Proposition 47]. (“Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases: (a) When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), except as provided in subdivision (b). (d) When the property taken is any of the following: (1) An automobile. (2) A firearm.”)

17 Penal Code 489 PC – Grand theft; punishment [overridden by Proposition 47]. (“Grand theft is punishable as follows: (a) If the grand theft involves the theft of a firearm, by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years. . . . (c) In all other cases, by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”)

18 Penal Code 459.5 PC – Shoplifting [added by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Notwithstanding Section 459, shoplifting is defined as entering a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny while that establishment is open during regular business hours, where the value of the property that is taken or intended to be taken does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950). Any other entry into a commercial establishment with intent to commit larceny is burglary. Shoplifting shall be punished as a misdemeanor, except that a person with one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 may be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) Any act of shoplifting as defined in subdivision (a) shall be charged as shoplifting. No person who is charged with shoplifting may also be charged with burglary or theft of the same property.”)

19 Same.

20 Penal Code 19 PC – Punishment for misdemeanor; punishment not otherwise prescribed. (“Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor [including under Proposition 47] is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.”)

21 Penal Code 459 PC –Definition [amended by Prop 47]. (“Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, floating home, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, any house car, as defined in Section 362 of the Vehicle Code, inhabited camper, as defined in Section 243 of the Vehicle Code, vehicle as defined by the Vehicle Code, when the doors are locked, aircraft as defined by Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code, or mine or any underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”)

See also Penal Code 461 PC – Punishment. (“Burglary is punishable as follows: . . . (b) Burglary in the second degree: by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”)

22 Penal Code 496 PC – Receiving stolen property; punishment [old version prior to amendment by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen or that has been obtained in any manner constituting theft or extortion, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, or who conceals, sells, withholds, or aids in concealing, selling, or withholding any property from the owner, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. However, if the district attorney or the grand jury determines that this action would be in the interests of justice, the district attorney or the grand jury, as the case may be, may, if the value of the property does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), specify in the accusatory pleading that the offense shall be a misdemeanor, punishable only by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year.”)

23 Penal Code 496 PC – Receiving stolen property; punishment [as amended by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Every person who buys or receives any property that has been stolen or that has been obtained in any manner constituting theft or extortion, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, or who conceals, sells, withholds, or aids in concealing, selling, or withholding any property from the owner, knowing the property to be so stolen or obtained, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. However, if the value of the property does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense shall be a misdemeanor, punishable only by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, if such person has no prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290.”)

24 Same.

25 Penal Code 666 PC – Petty theft; prior conviction of certain offenses; punishment [old version; prior to Prop 47]. (“(a) Notwithstanding Section 490, every person who, having been convicted three or more times of petty theft, grand theft, a conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 368, auto theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, burglary, carjacking, robbery, or a felony violation of Section 496 and having served a term therefor in any penal institution or having been imprisoned therein as a condition of probation for that offense, and who is subsequently convicted of petty theft, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) Notwithstanding Section 490, any person described in paragraph (1) who, having been convicted of petty theft, grand theft, a conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 368, auto theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, burglary, carjacking, robbery, or a felony violation of Section 496, and having served a term of imprisonment therefor in any penal institution or having been imprisoned therein as a condition of probation for that offense, and who is subsequently convicted of petty theft, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison. (1) This subdivision shall apply to any person who is required to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act, or who has a prior violent or serious felony conviction, as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 or subdivision (c) of Section 1192.7.”)

26 Same.

27 Penal Code 666 PC – Petty theft; prior conviction of certain offenses; punishment [as amended by Prop 47]. (“(a) Notwithstanding Section 490, any person described in subdivision (b) who, having been convicted of petty theft, grand theft, a conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 368, auto theft under Section 10851 of the Vehicle Code, burglary, carjacking, robbery, or a felony violation of Section 496, and having served a term of imprisonment therefor in any penal institution or having been imprisoned therein as a condition of probation for that offense, and who is subsequently convicted of petty theft, is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison. (b) Subdivision (a) shall apply to any person who is required to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration Act, or who has a prior violent or serious felony conviction, as specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667, or has a conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) or (e) of Section 368.”)

28 Same.

29 Same.

30 Penal Code 473 PC – Forgery; punishment [as amended by Proposition 47]. ("(a) Forgery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), any person who is guilty of forgery relating to a check, bond, bank bill, note, cashier's check, traveler's check, or money order, where the value of the check, bond, bank bill, note, cashier's check, traveler's check, or money order does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290. This subdivision shall not be applicable to any person who is convicted both of forgery and of identity theft, as defined in Section 530.5.”)

31 Same.

32 Penal Code 476a PC – Checks, drafts or orders on banks; insufficient funds; intent to defraud; punishment; evidence; severability; investigation fee [old version prior to amendment by Proposition 470]. (“(a) Any person who, for himself or herself, as the agent or representative of another, or as an officer of a corporation, willfully, with intent to defraud, makes or draws or utters or delivers a check, draft, or order upon a bank or depositary, a person, a firm, or a corporation, for the payment of money, knowing at the time of that making, drawing, uttering, or delivering that the maker or drawer or the corporation has not sufficient funds in, or credit with the bank or depositary, person, firm, or corporation, for the payment of that check, draft, or order and all other checks, drafts, or orders upon funds then outstanding, in full upon its presentation, although no express representation is made with reference thereto, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) However, if the total amount of all checks, drafts, or orders that the defendant is charged with and convicted of making, drawing, or uttering does not exceed four hundred fifty dollars ($450), the offense is punishable only by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year. This subdivision shall not be applicable if the defendant has previously been convicted of a violation of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section, or of the crime of petty theft in a case in which defendant's offense was a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476 or of this section or if the defendant has previously been convicted of any offense under the laws of any other state or of the United States which, if committed in this state, would have been punishable as a violation of Section 470, 475 or 476 or of this section or if he has been so convicted of the crime of petty theft in a case in which, if defendant's offense had been committed in this state, it would have been a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section.”)

33 Penal Code 476a PC – Checks, drafts or orders on banks; insufficient funds; intent to defraud; punishment; evidence; severability; investigation fee [as amended by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Any person who, for himself or herself, as the agent or representative of another, or as an officer of a corporation, willfully, with intent to defraud, makes or draws or utters or delivers a check, draft, or order upon a bank or depositary, a person, a firm, or a corporation, for the payment of money, knowing at the time of that making, drawing, uttering, or delivering that the maker or drawer or the corporation has not sufficient funds in, or credit with the bank or depositary, person, firm, or corporation, for the payment of that check, draft, or order and all other checks, drafts, or orders upon funds then outstanding, in full upon its presentation, although no express representation is made with reference thereto, is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) However, if the total amount of all checks, drafts, or orders that the defendant is charged with and convicted of making, drawing, or uttering does not exceed nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), the offense is punishable only by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290. This subdivision shall not be applicable if the defendant has previously been convicted of three or more violations of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section, or of the crime of petty theft in a case in which defendant's offense was a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476 or of this section or if the defendant has previously been convicted of any offense under the laws of any other state or of the United States which, if committed in this state, would have been punishable as a violation of Section 470, 475 or 476 or of this section or if he has been so convicted of the crime of petty theft in a case in which, if defendant's offense had been committed in this state, it would have been a violation also of Section 470, 475, or 476, or of this section.”)

34 Same.

35 Same.

36 Health & Safety Code 11350 HS – Possession of designated controlled substances; punishment and fine [old version prior to amendment by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b) or (c), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.”)

37 Health & Safety Code 11350 HS – Possession of designated controlled substances; punishment and fine [as amended by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as otherwise provided in this division, every person who possesses (1) any controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), (e), or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, or specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in subdivision (h) of Section 11056, or (2) any controlled substance classified in Schedule III, IV, or V which is a narcotic drug, unless upon the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, except that such person shall instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 of the Penal Code or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.”)

38 Health & Safety Code 11357 HS – Unauthorized possession; punishment; prior conviction; possession in school or on school grounds [old version prior to amendment by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.”)

39 Health & Safety Code 11357 HS – Unauthorized possession; punishment; prior conviction; possession in school or on school grounds [as amended by Prop 47]. (“(a) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 of the Penal Code or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.”)

40 Health & Safety Code 11377 HS – Unauthorized possession; punishment [old version prior to Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as authorized by law and as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) or Section 11375, or in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who possesses any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not a narcotic drug, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), and (20) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (f) of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code.”)

41 Health & Safety Code 11377 HS – Unauthorized possession; punishment [as amended by Proposition 47]. (“(a) Except as authorized by law and as otherwise provided in subdivision (b) or Section 11375, or in Article 7 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, every person who possesses any controlled substance which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not a narcotic drug, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054, except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), and (20) of subdivision (d), (3) specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4) specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (f) of Section 11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, except that such person may instead be punished pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 11701170. of the Penal Code if that person has one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 of the Penal Code or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290 of the Penal Code.”)

42 See, e.g., same [restrictions set forth for Prop 47 sentencing].

See also Penal Code 1170.18 PC – Petition for recall of sentence; resentencing procedures; reduction of felonies to misdemeanors. (“(i) The provisions of this section [allowing resentencing under Proposition 47 for those already serving sentences] shall not apply to persons who have one or more prior convictions for an offense specified in clause (iv) of subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 667 or for an offense requiring registration pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 290.”)

43 Penal Code 290(c) PC – Sex offender registration act. (“(c) The following persons shall be required to register [and hence are ineligible for Proposition 47 sentencing]: Any person who, since July 1, 1944, has been or is hereafter convicted in any court in this state or in any federal or military court of a violation of Section 187 committed in the perpetration, or an attempt to perpetrate, rape or any act punishable under Section 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 207 or 209 committed with intent to violate Section 261, 286, 288, 288a, or 289, Section 220, except assault to commit mayhem, subdivision (b) and (c) of Section 236.1, Section 243.4, paragraph (1), (2), (3), (4), or (6) of subdivision (a) of Section 261, paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 262 involving the use of force or violence for which the person is sentenced to the state prison, Section 264.1, 266, or 266c, subdivision (b) of Section 266h, subdivision (b) of Section 266i, Section 266j, 267, 269, 285, 286, 288, 288a, 288.3, 288.4, 288.5, 288.7, 289, or 311.1, subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2, Section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, 311.11, or 647.6, former Section 647a, subdivision (c) of Section 653f, subdivision 1 or 2 of Section 314, any offense involving lewd or lascivious conduct under Section 272, or any felony violation of Section 288.2; any statutory predecessor that includes all elements of one of the above-mentioned offenses; or any person who since that date has been or is hereafter convicted of the attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above-mentioned offenses.”)

44 Penal Code 290.006 – Court order of registration for offenses committed out of sexual compulsion or for sexual gratification [does not affect eligibility for Prop 47 sentencing]. (“Any person ordered by any court to register pursuant to the Act for any offense not included specifically in subdivision (c) of Section 290, shall so register, if the court finds at the time of conviction or sentencing that the person committed the offense as a result of sexual compulsion or for purposes of sexual gratification. The court shall state on the record the reasons for its findings and the reasons for requiring registration.”)

45 See, e.g., Health & Safety Code 11377 HS – Unauthorized possession; punishment [restrictions set forth for Prop 47 sentencing], endnote 41, above.

46 Same.

See also Penal Code 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) PC, endnote 7, above.

47 Penal Code 667(e)(2)(C)(iv) PC, endnote 7, above.

48 Compare same [list of offenses that make a defendant ineligible for Proposition 47 sentencing] with Penal Code 667.5(c) PC [violent felonies] and Penal Code 1192.7(c) PC [serious felonies].

49 Penal Code 1170.18 PC – Petition for recall of sentence; resentencing procedures; reduction of felonies to misdemeanors [added by Proposition 47], endnote 8, above.

50 See same.

See also Penal Code 1170.18 PC – Petition for recall of sentence; resentencing procedures; reduction of felonies to misdemeanors [added by Proposition 47]. (“(f) A person who has completed his or her sentence for a conviction, whether by trial or plea, of a felony or felonies who would have been guilty of a misdemeanor under this act had this act been in effect at the time of the offense, may file an application before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in his or her case to have the felony conviction or convictions designated as misdemeanors. (g) If the application satisfies the criteria in subdivision (f), the court shall designate the felony offense or offenses as a misdemeanor. (h) Unless requested by the applicant, no hearing is necessary to grant or deny an application filed under subsection (f).”)

51 Same.

52 Same.

53 Same.

54 Same.

55 Same.

56 Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse is the Managing Attorney of Shouse Law Group. He is a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, where he worked on high-profile gang, murder, and firearms cases. Now, Shouse has turned the inside knowledge he gained as a prosecutor into extraordinary expertise in criminal defense law, including complex sentencing laws like Proposition 47.

57Prop 47 jolts landscape of California justice system, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 5, 2014.

58 See United States Courts, Juror Qualifications, Exemptions And Excuses.

59 10 United States Code (“U.S.C.”) 504(a). (“No person who is insane, intoxicated, or a deserter from an armed force, or who has been convicted of a felony, may be enlisted in any armed force. However, the Secretary concerned may authorize exceptions, in meritorious cases, for the enlistment of deserters and persons convicted of felonies.”)

60 Penal Code 1170.18 PC – Petition for recall of sentence; resentencing procedures; reduction of felonies to misdemeanors [added by Proposition 47]. (“(k) Any felony conviction that is recalled and resentenced under subdivision (b) or designated as a misdemeanor under subdivision (g) shall be considered a misdemeanor for all purposes, except that such resentencing shall not permit that person to own, possess, or have in his or her custody or control any firearm or prevent his or her conviction under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800) of Division 9 of Title 4 of Part 6.”)

61 Same.

62 See Prop 47 victory shows California embracing ‘smart on crime' approach, supporters say, Sacramento Bee, Nov. 5, 2014.

63 California Secretary of State, Official Voter Information Guide: Proposition 47, Full Text of Initiative, Section 3: Purpose and Intent.

64 Government Code 7599.2 – Distribution of Moneys from the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund [added by Proposition 47]. (“(a) By August 15 of each fiscal year beginning in 2016, the Controller shall disburse moneys deposited in the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund as follows: (1) Twenty–five percent to the State Department of Education, to administer a grant program to public agencies aimed at improving outcomes for public school pupils in kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, by reducing truancy and supporting students who are at risk of dropping out of school or are victims of crime. (2) Ten percent to the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board, to make grants to trauma recovery centers to provide services to victims of crime pursuant to Section 13963.1 of the Government Code. (3) Sixty–five percent to the Board of State and Community Corrections, to administer a grant program to public agencies aimed at supporting mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and diversion programs for people in the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on programs that reduce recidivism of people convicted of less serious crimes, such as those covered by this measure, and those who have substance abuse and mental health problems.”)

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