Tactful Attorneys Securing Prop 47 Felony Reductions for Los Angeles County and Southern California Clients
California no longer strictly prosecutes simple possession of drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and even LSD as felonies due to the “Safe Neighborhoods & Schools” initiative passed by voters on November 4, 2014. Changes to the law also include reducing charges for certain property crimes which are currently “wobblers” (offenses that can be charged as felonies or misdemeanors) to straight misdemeanors. Still, the new laws carve out certain exceptions that need careful attention.
Proposition 47 & Theft
Prior to the passing of Prop. 47, a person who was convicted of shoplifting property valued at less than $950 would be guilty of petit theft, a straight misdemeanor. However, the prosecutor had the discretion of filing a burglary charge, a wobbler and potential felony, despite the amount taken. After Prop. 47, however, a commercial burglary involving a loss of $950 or less has been turned into a straight misdemeanor. This is also true of writing bad checks, forgery, and other similar offenses.