Proposition 47

What is Prop 47?

Proposition 47, a voter initiative (the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act) was passed into law on November 4th, 2014. It made changes to several laws, and added section 1170.18 to the Penal Code. Prop 47 has 4 main effects:
  1. It reduced most possessory drug offenses (not sales or transportation), and theft of property valued under $950, to misdemeanors. Previously, most of these crimes were “wobblers,” meaning they could be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. Now – unless there are certain aggravating factors – the crimes will only be charged as misdemeanors.
  2. It created a petition process, allowing re-sentencing for persons currently serving a felony sentence for those same theft and drug possession offenses.
  3. It also created an application process for people who have completed qualifying felony sentences to have those crimes reclassified as misdemeanors on their records.
  4. Savings generated by the changes in sentencing law and reduction of felony inmate population, are redistributed to the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools fund.

Can I benefit from Prop 47?

You may, but you must meet the following requirements:

1) You have a felony conviction for one or more of the following crimes:

  • Shoplifting, where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Grand Theft, where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Receiving Stolen Property, where the value of the property stolen does not exceed $950
  • Forgery, where the value of the forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950
  • Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft, or order does not exceed $950
  • Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950
  • Personal use of most illegal drugs

2) You do not have a disqualifying conviction. Disqualifying convictions include:

  • Any sex offense which requires registration under section 290 of the Penal Code.
  • Any serious or violent offense listed in Penal Code section 667(e)(2)(c)(iv).

What do I need to do?

If you are currently serving a sentence, in custody, on probation, on parole, or under any other post-conviction supervision for a qualifying theft or drug offense, you can to contact a Prop 47 Law Clerk in the Office of the Public Defender to request the filing of a petition for re-sentencing. You will have to make a court appearance.

If you have completed a felony sentence for what you believe is a Prop 47 eligible felony, you can contact a Prop 47 Law Clerk in the Office of the Public Defender about filing an application for reclassification, which asks the court to change the felonies to misdemeanors on your criminal record.

A Prop 47 Law Clerk can be reached at (805) 654-5174. If you live in Ventura County and are out of custody, you will be asked to come in personally to complete a financial affidavit to verify that you qualify for our services. You may consult with a Prop 47 specialist in person at that time.

Is there a Deadline?

YES! November 4th, 2022. Prop 47 allows three years to obtain relief. If you think you may qualify, please contact the Office of the Public Defender as soon as possible to begin the paperwork required for a lawyer to evaluate your case.