In November of 2014, California voters passed Proposition, which allows certain low-level, nonviolent crimes to be converted from felonies to misdemeanors. If you were charged with a felony because of petty theft or minor drug possession, you may be eligible to change your record to a misdemeanor.
As long as your crime is not on the list of offenses that are excluded from eligibility, and you are not a person on the sex registry, you may be able to file a form to have the felony charge removed from your record. Violent or high-level crimes cannot be reclassified into misdemeanors.
How Do You Apply to Have Your Felony Converted to a Misdemeanor?
California Prop 47 does not require a hearing for qualified persons who wish to have their felonies reclassified to misdemeanors; however, there are some cases where the courts may require a hearing on a case-by-case basis to address concerns or questions about an individual’s eligibility for reduction.
You’ll need to submit a form to the courthouse in the county where you were convicted. You’ll also need to provide a copy to the district attorney’s office. Some counties have their own forms; if your county has created its own form, you’ll want to be sure to use it. You can check to see which counties have their own forms, or download a generic sample form, by visiting Californians for Safety and Justice.
If you wish to request to have your felony dropped, you must file your submission by November 2017. If you’re uncertain how to file your petition, or if you’re not sure if your crime would be eligible, contact a California defense attorney for assistance.
What Crimes are Eligible to be Converted?
Nonviolent, low-level crimes may be eligible for conversion from felony to misdemeanor. Money-related crimes of low dollar amounts and simple drug possession charges are eligible under Prop 47.
The following monetary crimes may be dropped from felonies to misdemeanors if your charges were for $950 or less:
- Fraud or writing bad checks
- Grand Theft
- Petty Theft
- Receiving Stolen Property
Additionally, several drug-related offenses may now be considered misdemeanors, rather than felonies. If your felony resulted from Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance, or Possession of Concentrated Cannabis, you might be able to convert your charges.
Can My Felony be Converted to a Misdemeanor if I’m in Prison or Jail?
The short answer to this question is yes, your felony could be converted, even if you’re currently incarcerated; however, there are a few factors that will affect your individual situation.
- Resentencing – If successfully drop your felony conviction while incarcerated, it is likely in your best interest to speak with an attorney who can help you file a petition to be resentenced and possibly even released.
- Other Charges – Even if you convert one or more felonies into misdemeanors, other charges could prevent you from being released from prison.
- County Jail – You cannot be sent to prison on a misdemeanor charge, but if you haven’t yet fulfilled the required maximum sentence of one year, you may be relocated to county jail to serve out your term.
If you’re interested in converting your felony charge to a misdemeanor, you may have questions about how Proposition 47 impacts your case. A California defense attorney can help you understand the specifics of the rules as they relate to the law and your unique situation. Seek legal counsel if you have questions about California Prop 47.
Contact Jon Artz today if you need to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. The fastest way is by calling: 310-820-1315.