In November 2014, California voters approved a sweepingly broad ballot measure aimed at reducing the prison population by allowing people convicted of certain nonviolent crimes to petition for resentencing. The law also allows for changes in criminal records.
The effects of the initiative are still playing out. At the Law Offices of Derek P. Wisehart, we are committed to helping people make use of the law to protect their rights and interests.
If you have specific questions, please call our Visalia office at 559-429-5630 to discuss your situation with an experienced defense lawyer. We have also provided some general information on this page to help you understand the new law.
Q: Does Prop 47 allow for automatic release from prison?
A: No. But people who are serving time under a previous felony conviction for certain drug and theft crimes may be able to petition the court to be resentenced.
Q: How many people have already gotten out of prison because of Prop 47?
A: In the first two years of the new law, more than 4,500 people were resentenced and then released from California state prisons.
Q: What if you have already completed your sentence but would like to clear up your record?
A: The Prop 47 law allows you to apply to the trial court to have your felony conviction reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. This can be very important when you are looking to apply for jobs, housing or credit loans and don’t want your criminal record to be held against you.
Q: Are there limitations on when you can petition for resentencing?
A: Yes. If you have previous convictions for certain offenses, petitioning for resentencing is not allowed. These previous offenses include sex offenses, homicide, assault on a law enforcement officer or any other crime that carries a possible punishment of life in prison or death.
Q: Are courts allowed to deny a petition for resentencing?
A: As the law is written, it allows the court to deny the petition if there is an unreasonable risk to public safety.
Q: How long will the possibility of resentencing be allowed?
A: The petition has to be filed by November 4, 2022.
Prop 47 brings great opportunities for people sentenced to nonviolent crimes in California state courts. Call our office at 559-429-5630 today for a confidential consultation with attorney Derek P. Wisehart, or, if you prefer, complete the online form.