When a hot-button political campaign includes both Jay-Z and Newt Gingrich among its supporters, you know that something with a wide social impact must be at issue. And that was exactly the case when Californians passed Proposition 47 in November 2014, a law that reclassified dozens of crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, including many drug charges. The purpose behind Proposition 47 was to focus felony sentencing laws on violent and serious offenses, and to invest the savings generated by the proposition into support programs and incarceration alternatives for non-serious and nonviolent crimes.
In addition to reducing the penalty for new convictions on drug charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, Proposition 47 also provides a key benefit to those who have already been convicted of drug charges, which is that, if you are currently incarcerated on drug charges, or have already served your time on drug charges, you may apply to have those previous charges reclassified from a felony to a misdemeanor.
If you are currently in prison, one obvious benefit is that you will be eligible for a reduced sentence and may even be released based on the time you have already served. But even if you have already served your sentence, however, using Proposition 47 to reduce the classification of your crime can be extremely important. Having a felony on your record can have a serious impact on the types of jobs that you are eligible for (many professional licensing bodies will not grant licenses to those with a felony on their record), and employers may not consider hiring you for some or all positions if you have a felony on your record. Furthermore, you may not be eligible for gun ownership or other benefits of citizenship.
Thus it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you apply to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor under Proposition 47. Do not delay in working with a lawyer, as time limits do apply to this process. Furthermore, the process of applying for and obtaining Proposition 47 relief does take some time, so you do not want to wait for the right job or other opportunity to come along before you begin the process of reducing your felony to a misdemeanor. While there will always be a benefit to having your past felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor, it’s better to proactively have your record in good shape then to wait until an employer or other party asks about or looks into your criminal record.
Work With Experienced Criminal Lawyers to Use Proposition 47 to Your Advantage
At Omar Gastelum and Associates PLC, we are intimately familiar with the criminal justice, and our aim is to aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your criminal law matter. Contact us today or call us now at 562-372-6868.