A lot of people are talking about Proposition 47 and how it has changed Criminal Law in California. In a nutshell, here is the answer: Newly passed Proposition 47 reduces certain felonies to misdemeanors permanently. Prop 47 also allows those currently serving incarceration time (“serving the sentence”) for a felony enumerated in Prop 47 to petition to have the felony conviction reduced, unless the defendant has prior convictions for certain violent or serious crimes. Violent and serious crimes exceed the scope of this memo and will not be addressed herein. The crimes enumerated in Prop 47 include the following and are now misdemeanors: 1. Commercial Burglary – PC 459.5; 2. Forgery – PC 473; 3. Grand Theft – PC 470, 475, 476; 4. Receiving Stolen Property – PC 496(a); 5. Drug Possession – HS 11350, 11357, and 11357(a). So how does someone who has suffered one of the enumerated convictions seek resentencing and/or reduction to a misdemeanor? Depending on where you live, there may be a local form. It’s best to consult an attorney when dealing with Court filings and Court procedure, as it can be more difficult than it appears. All you really need is your case information. The petition has no filing fee and it applies retroactively. There are certain individuals who, because of other convictions, may be ineligible for resentencing under the new law. That is another reason to contact an attorney, who will thoroughly examine your past convictions and let you know in advance whether your petition is viable. As a Criminal Defense attorney, I’ve been asked “isn’t Prop 47 bad for your business?” The truth is that I’m not really sure. However, in passing the law, Californians did what I truly believe was the right thing. I’ve seen many people already being given their lives back, whether it’s an early release from jail or a record that has no felonies (getting a job with a felony is no easy task). If if you or a loved one have been convicted of a Felony listed above, contact my office at 619-696-1140 and I will personally sit with you and find out if you can be helped by this new law.