Law Change: California Senate Bill 775 expands criminal defense rights

California SB 775 is a new law that clarifies the rights of those convicted of certain crimes. If you were convicted of attempted murder or manslaughter under the felony murder or natural and probable consequences theory, you can now get the same relief as those convicted of murder under the same theories. This means you may be able to have your sentence reduced or even get released from prison.

The new law also codifies a recent court decision called People v. Lewis. This decision says that if you’re asking for relief under this new law, you have the right to a lawyer to help you. The court will also use a certain standard to decide if you’re entitled to relief. This standard is a “prima facie showing,” which means you have to show enough evidence to support your claim.

If you’re asking for relief under this new law, the court will hold a hearing to decide if you qualify. At this hearing, the court will use the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard to make its decision. This means that the court will only grant relief if it’s very sure that you qualify.

Finally, the new law says that the court will follow the Evidence Code when deciding what evidence to consider at the hearing. It also says that hearsay evidence (secondhand information) that was admitted at a preliminary hearing will be excluded.

Overall, this new law clarifies the rights of people who were convicted of certain crimes and may allow them to get relief from their sentences. If you think you may qualify for relief, it’s important to talk to a lawyer who can help you understand your rights and navigate the legal system.