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Passing of Proposition 47 to help drug crime and other cases

In a previous post, we discussed Proposition 47 and how it could help those accused of certain criminal activities. Proposition 47 has passed and those facing some drug crime and other criminal charges may now face misdemeanor instead of felony charges. According to recent reports, 59 percent of California voters agreed that reclassifying some crimes to lower-level offenses would be good for the state.

It is believed that Proposition 47, also known as The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, will save the state approximately $200 million in prison costs every year. This money is now to be used for rehabilitation programs for drugs, treat those with mental health issues, offer support to victims of crime and keep children in school. California voters tend to agree that spending the money in this way will provide much-needed services and help non-violent offenders get back on their feet, as opposed to putting them in prison.

California is one of several states taking this step to reclassify some criminal offenses. Those currently awaiting trial for certain criminal charges will likely see a change in the type of charges filed -- if appropriate -- in order to address the new specifications of this law. This change could also apply to those currently serving time for these now reclassified crimes, and re-sentencing could be a possibility.

California residents who have been charged or convicted of the crimes which have now been reclassified to lower-level offenses could benefit from legal representation working on their side. Those already incarcerated could wait a long time before the state reviews their case and seeking legal help could speed up the process. Those currently charged with drug crime and other offenses may be able to use this new law to their benefit as they fight for a dismissal of charges or alternate sentencing if a conviction is secured.

Source: utsandiego.com, "California's Prop 47 reduces penalties for minor drug crimes", Kristina Davis, Nov. 5, 2014

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Former Criminal Prosecutor With Proven Results