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What is Prop 47?

California Proposition 47 passed November 4, 2014 by 59% of the vote in the state, and 55% of the vote in San Diego. Known as the Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act, Prop 47 is designed to allocate money away from prisons and use those funds for drug rehabilitation, mental health, crime victims, and keeping kids in school.

Prop 47 requires that non-serious and non-violent drug and property crimes be classified as misdemeanors and not felonies. There are exceptions, however. For example, if the person has certain prior convictions for murder, certain sex offenses, gun offenses, or property crimes that are over $950.

Prop 47 also authorizes that inmates currently serving prison terms for one of the enumerated offenses under Prop 47 be eligible for resentencing.

Here is a list of some crimes that will now be classified as misdemeanors instead of felonies:

  1. Personal use of most drugs, HS 11377(a) and HS 11350(a)
  2. Shoplifting under $950
  3. Forgery where the value does not exceed $950
  4. Grand theft under $950
  5. Receiving stolen property under $950
  6. Fraud under $950
  7. Writing a bad check where the amount does not exceed $950

An interesting aspect of Prop 47 is that, for the most part, someone can be charged repeatedly with one of the enumerated offenses and still receive a misdemeanor charge. Previously, if someone had prior convictions for the enumerated offenses under Prop 47, he or she would be charged with a felony.

If you have been arrested, charged, or already convicted, and need help understanding how Prop 47 may or may not apply your case, contact my office today. I will provide a free, confidential consultation.