California’s Prop 47: What You Need to Know

In 2014, California voters passed Proposition 47, also known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act. This measure, which was intended to reduce prison overcrowding and redirect resources towards rehabilitation and education, made a number of changes to California’s criminal justice system which have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of people serving time for these offenses in California.

One of the most significant changes was the reduction of certain drug possession and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. Under Prop 47, the following offenses are now classified as misdemeanors. Previously, these offenses were classified as felonies, which carried much harsher penalties.

  • Possession of small amounts of drugs, including methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin
  • Theft of property valued at $950 or less
  • Receiving stolen property valued at $950 or less
  • Forging or altering a check or credit card, if the value is $950 or less

If you are charged with a drug possession or property crime that is covered by Prop 47, you may be eligible for a misdemeanor sentence rather than a felony sentence. However, it’s important to remember that Prop 47 does not apply to all offenses- it only applies to those specifically listed above. Moreover, other factors, such as your criminal history and the specific circumstances of your case, may also come into play. Finally, remember that Prop 47 does not apply retroactively – it only applies to offenses committed on or after November 5, 2014, the date that the measure was passed.

If you have questions about Prop 47 or are facing criminal charges in California, it’s important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Please contact James Crawford- he can help you understand your rights and options, and work to protect your interests during the legal process.