Criminal Defense in Orange County

What is California Proposition 47?

Earlier this month – during the November 4 th mid-term elections – California voters approved Proposition 47 and showed their support for a significant overhaul of our state's criminal justice system. Also known as the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, Prop 47 was designed to change the way we punish offenders who commit non-serious and non-violent property or drug crimes. It does this by reducing certain felony-level crimes to misdemeanors.

Prop 47 has been hailed by supporters as a safe and effective way to reduce prison crowding and spending, thereby keeping more serious offenders behind bars. It is also viewed as a fairer approach toward non-violent defendants by shifting the focus from harsh punishment to leniency and rehabilitation.

What crimes are reduced to misdemeanors under Prop 47?

Prop 47 applies only to certain non-serious, non-violent drug and property crimes, including:

  • Drug Crimes – Prop 47 reduces the personal use of most illegal drugs from felony-level offenses to misdemeanors. "Personal use" may refer to possession or being under the influence, among other certain charges. Prop 47 made California the first state in the nation to essentially defelonize drug use.
  • Property Crimes – Proposition 47 reduces several various theft and fraud related crimes in which the value of property stolen is no greater than $950 from felonies to misdemeanors. These crimes include grand theft, accepting stolen goods, shoplifting, fraud, forgery, and bad check writing.

Are you eligible for reduction / resentencing under Prop 47?

Prop 47 will apply not only to all new cases moving forward, but will also be applied retroactively to older cases involving crimes that are now reduced to misdemeanors. This means that some individuals may be eligible to have their charges and / or sentences reduced – including individuals currently serving sentences for crimes now reduced under Prop 47. Individuals incarcerated for these same crimes may also be eligible for immediate release.

We can help clients understand their eligible for Prop 47 if they have been convicted of any of the qualifying crimes and:

  • Are currently incarcerated
  • Are currently supervised by the court (parole, probation)
  • Have completed all terms of sentence and are no longer supervised by the court
  • Are participating in drug driversion

If you or someone you love are currently facing the above mentioned charges – or have been convicted of any of the above charges in the past – The Law Offices of Barney B. Gibbs may be able to help you seek substantially reduced charges or sentences. Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Barney Gibbs can evaluate your case to determine if you are eligible for resentencing under Prop 47 during a free consultation. Contact our firm today to get started.