SAN DIEGO, California - The prison industrial complex created by previous lock‘em and leave‘em legislation had become a taxpayer burden and didn’t seem to be doing too much in the way of rehabilitation. “Prop. 47 has changed the severity of punishments for eight felonies” says San Diego based paralegal, Jesse Anthony Wagner.
The new misdemeanors include Penal Code (PC) sections 459.5 Shoplifting – Burglary; PC473 Forgery; PC476a Check Fraud; PC490.2 Theft; PC496 Stolen Property; and Health and Safety (H&S) sections H&S11350 heroin, opiates, peyote; H&S11357 Concentrate Cannabis; and H&S11377 Methamphetamines Wagner says.
By some estimates, a third of all felonies, many drug-related, will be downgraded to lesser crimes, creating a domino effect that will keep petty criminals out of custody and free some who are already behind bars. Wagner says “the Legislative Analyst’s Office estimate as many as 40,000 people a year could be affected; while 4,770 state prison inmates would be eligible to petition the court for resentencing and possible release.”
For those currently serving a sentence on an offense that would have been a misdemeanor under Prop 47 may petition for recall of their sentence and resentencing. The court receiving such a petition shall recall the sentence and resentence the defendant to a misdemeanor, unless the court determines that resentencing the petitioner would “pose an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety,” meaning there is an unreasonable risk that the defendant will commit a violent felony as defined by the Penal Code. In making that determination, the court may consider the following: 1) the petitioner’s criminal history, 2) the petitioner’s disciplinary record and record of rehabilitation while incarcerated, 3) any other relevant factors.
Those who have been convicted of a felony, whether by plea or trial, that would have been a misdemeanor under Prop 47 and who have completed their sentence may also petition the court for relief. In such cases, the court “shall” designate the felony offense a misdemeanor. No hearing is necessary.
Southland may also be able to get other felonies reduced to misdemeanors, get convictions expunged, and get probation terminated early. People who are interested are urged to call Southland Law so that a petition may be presented to the Courts at (888) 909-0158.
Jesse Anthony Wagner
3268 Governor Drive Suite 345
San Diego CA 92122