Proposition 47 was passed by voters in November 2014 and did great things for those who suffered the harsh consequences of felonies. As a result, many defendants who got into trouble for drug possession and theft crimes could now have their felonies reduced to a misdemeanor. If you are a qualified defendant who served time or are off probation, you could qualify to be resentenced. Tens of thousands of people who have been convicted of these crimes became eligible to ask for redesignation the moment it came into effect on November 5, 2014.

Convictions That Qualify a Defendant for Resentencing

Of course, not all crimes can be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. To begin, there have been some drug crimes that are now reduced in California. This includes the following:

  • Possession of narcotic controlled substances like cocaine, heroin, morphine, or other opiates
  • Possession of restricted dangerous drugs
  • Possession of concentrated cannabis (known as hashish)

Prop 47 also made changes to theft crimes. Now a prosecutor may only charge as a misdemeanor if the amount in question is not more than $950. Here are some examples of the qualifying crimes:

  • Forgery relating to a check, bond, bank bill, note, and more
  • Attempting to pass a check or use a bank card
  • Petty theft of money, labor, real or personal property
  • Possessing or receiving property with the knowledge the property is stolen
  • Petty theft of money, labor, real or personal property


Judge in a CourtroomNot everybody is eligible for relief through Proposition 47, however. Prop 47 will not help those who have past convictions for very serious or violent crimes. This includes sexually violent offenses against minors, murder or attempted murder, assault with a machine gun, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, or any offense that is punishable in California by life in prison or the death penalty. If you have been convicted of an offense that requires you to be registered as a sexual offender, you will also not be relieved. If the judge believes that you are at risk of committing one of these offenses or you are still serving your sentence, you will also not be relieved. If you wish to be excluded, you must request a “Dangerousness Hearing” where the District Attorney will have to prove that you are at risk of committing one of these offenses in the future.

Opinions of the State

Many people believe that Proposition 47 is a shining light for the state, while some law enforcement officers believe that it is more of a problem. Critics have argued that Prop 47 is directly responsible for increases in crime ever since its existence. Many more believe that law enforcement have not taken the steps necessary to adjust their practices to the new law. People believe that the introduction of the bill means that many defendants will not get the help that they need through this new process – however, only time will tell those results.

Have you been convicted of a crime and need our help? Give us a call today so we can help you from beginning to end in regards to your case. At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we work for you to help you get the results you deserve.