What is Proposition 47?
Proposition 47 (Prop 47) was passed by California voters on November 2014. It converted several drug possession and theft crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. But, it’s not automatic; people with convictions for these crimes that occurred prior to November 2014 must apply to have the conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.
Another successful clinic!
On Friday, June 19, 2015, Mr. Hammond participated in another free legal clinic, with the Drug Policy Alliance, helping people fill out petitions to have their felony drug possession and theft crimes reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. Attorneys also participated from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.
Other resources were also on-hand to help people obtain and understand their criminal records. Live Scan services were available, as well volunteers to help people get their records from the LA County Court website.
Together, the volunteers filled out dozens of Prop 47 applications, which will help L.A. residents stop checking “yes” when asked if they have ever been convicted of a felony. For many people, the next step will be an expungement and dismissal of the charges altogether.
Drug Policy Alliance volunteers are serving the petitions on the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for the applicants, who will file them at courthouses across the county, from Long Beach to Van Nuys and beyond.
Prop 47 relief is not discretionary — if the paperwork is properly submitted and the defendant is eligible, the Court must grant the petition and reduce the felony to a misdemeanor.