Frequently Asked Questions about Proposition 47
Proposition 47, or the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, has been the law in California since its passage in November 2014. The law offers opportunities for certain individuals charged with nonviolent offenses, as well as for some offenders who are already serving time for their crimes.
Who is eligible for Proposition 47 sentencing?The primary effect of Proposition 47 was to turn many nonviolent crimes, such as drug and property-related offenses, from felonies to misdemeanors. A defendant who is charged with the designated crimes may qualify if he or she has no previous convictions for serious crimes, and is not required by law to register as a sex offender.
Can Proposition 47 help someone already convicted for a crime?Certain offenders who are currently serving a sentence for the designated crimes may be able to take advantage of Proposition 47 reductions. Through an application process through the court, you can be "resentenced," which converts your previous felony into a misdemeanor conviction.
Which crimes does Proposition 47 cover?The law pertains to felonies or wobbler crimes that could be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances, including:
Grand theft auto, shoplifting, or grand theft firearm, where the property is valued at $950 or less;
Forgery of a check or financial instrument in an amount of $950 or less;
Possession of certain controlled substances, including concentrated cannabis and methamphetamine; and,
Other crimes as defined by statute.
How does Proposition 47 change sentencing for a crime?Since the law converts a felony into a misdemeanor, you will face a reduced sentence of a year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If you're a candidate for resentencing, you may get an earlier release from incarceration; you may even be immediately released if you've served your sentence.