In November, 2014, voters approved Proposition 47 which reduced many, non-violent felonies to misdemeanors. These included simple drug possession cases and theft related cases where the amount at issue was less than $950. Theft related cases include grand and petty theft, forgery, check and credit card fraud, and possession of stolen property.
If you are currently pending prosecution for such a charge, you may be entitled to have the charge immediately reduced to a misdemeanor. If you are on probation for such a charge, you may be entitled to have the charge reduced to a misdemeanor and your probation modified to a conditional sentence. If you are serving a sentence for such a charge, you may be entitled to petition to be re-sentenced as a misdemeanor. If you have completed your sentence for such a charge (no matter how old the case was)
you may petition to have the charge re-designated as a misdemeanor. The time for filing these petitions is limited and expires three years from the passage of Proposition 47.
Below is a link to the Santa Cruz County Superior court website concerning Proposition 47. The Court website has links to frequently asked questions (FAQs) and the forms for requesting re-sentencing or re-designation.
PROP 47 ELIGIBLE OFFENSES:
SIMPLE DRUG POSSESSION
Includes possession of cocaine,heroin, methamphetamine,concentrated cannabis,etc.
THEFT OFFENSES INVOLVING LESS THAN $950.00
Includes Grand Theft, Petty Theft, Forgery,Check Fraud, Credit Card Fraud, Possession of Stolen Property, Commercial Burglary,Etc.
PERSONS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PROP 47 RELIEF
You will not be eligible for Prop 47 relief if you have a prior conviction for any of the following:
• Murder or Attempted Murder
• Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
• Solicitation to Commit Murder
• Assault with a Machine Gun on a Peace Officer of Firefighter
• Possession of a Weapon of Mass Destruction
• Any Sex Crime Requiring Registration under Penal Code section 290(c),including Rape,Child
Molestation, Sodomy, Sexual Battery, Indecent Exposure,and Possession of Child Pornography
• Any serious or violent felony punishable by life in prison or death
WHAT IS NOT COVERED BY PROP 47?
IF YOU ARE GRANTED RELIEF UNDER PROP 47,YOU WILL STILL BE OBLIGATED TO PAY ANY COURT-ORDERED
RESTITUTION TO VICTIMS OF YOUR OFFENSE. ALSO,YOU WILL STILL BE PROHIBITED FROM OWNING OR POSSESSING FIREARMS FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
WHY SHOULD YOU APPLY FOR PROP 47 RELIEF?
HAVING A FELONY CONVICTION REDUCED TO A MISDEMEANOR WILL HELP YOU IN APPLYING FOR AND OBTAINING JOBS AS WELL AS STUDENT AND GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE. IF YOU ARE RE-SENTENCED WHILE INCARCERATED,YOUR JAIL OR PRISON SENTENCE,AS WELL AS ANY FINES IMPOSED,WILL LIKELY BE REDUCED. HOWEVER, YOU MAY STILL BE REQUIRED BY THE COURT TO REPORT TO A PROBATION OR PAROLE OFFICER UPON YOUR RELEASE FROM JAIL OR PRISON.
IS THERE A TIME LIMITATION ON APPLYING FOR PROP 47 RELIEF?
Yes. Any Application or Petition for relief under Prop 47 must be filed with the Court within three years of the effective date of the law. Thus, you must file your Application or Petition before November 4,2022.
HOW TO OBTAIN RELIEF
If you have already completed your sentence on a Prop 47 eligible offense,you may apply to have your felony conviction - no matter how old it is - converted to a misdemeanor conviction by filling-out a form available from the Court titled APPLICATION FOR REDESIGNATION AS MISDEMEANOR (Penal Code § 1170.18(f)). If the Court determines, after reviewing your Application,that you are entitled to relief, the Court must re-classify your felony conviction as a misdemeanor. The Court can do so
without scheduling a hearing.
CURRENTLY SERVING A SENTENCE
If you are currently serving a sentence on a Prop 47 eligible offense,or are currently on probation, mandatory supervision, post-release community supervision, or parole for a Prop 47 eligible offense,you must petition to court to be re-sentenced, using a form available from the Court titled PETITION FOR RESENTENCING (Penal Code § 1170.18(a)). The Public Defender's Officeris willing to assist you in preparing and filing the Petition. If the District Attorney objects to re-sentencing, the Court will schedule a hearing to determine if you are eligible for Prop 47 relie( If you are eligible,the Court must grant you relief unless it finds that re-sentencing you would pose an "unreasonable risk of danger to public safety."
If you have any further questions or need assistance with obtaining Prop 47 relief in Santa Cruz
County, please contact us:
Office of the Public Defender 2103 North Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz,CA 95060