Law Change: SB 483 invalidates certain enhancements and priors

SB 483 is a bill that provides retroactive relief and is time-sensitive. It declares that certain enhancements and priors imposed before recent changes in the law to be legally invalid. This means that individuals who have been sentenced with these enhancements in the past can now have their sentences reevaluated and potentially reduced.

Prison-prior enhancements are used to increase the sentence of an individual who has previously served time in prison. HS 11370.1 is a statute that provides for a three-year sentence enhancement for certain drug offenses. Both of these enhancements have been used in the past to increase sentences, sometimes resulting in excessively long sentences that do not reflect the severity of the crime.

Under SB 483, the CDCR and Counties are required to identify all individuals who are serving a sentence that includes one or both of these enhancements and notify the sentencing court. The court must then recall and resentence those individuals to remove the invalid enhancements. The deadline for the court to complete this process is October 1, 2022, for those currently serving time on the enhancement, and December 31, 2023, for everyone else.

Additionally, the bill requires the appointment of counsel for all individuals subject to resentencing, ensuring that they have legal representation throughout the process. This is important because it can be challenging for individuals to navigate the legal system on their own, especially in cases where their sentences are being reconsidered.

Overall, SB 483 is an important piece of legislation that provides an opportunity for individuals who have been subject to excessive sentences to have their cases reevaluated and potentially reduced. It is an example of the ongoing efforts to reform the criminal justice system and ensure that sentences are fair and just.