Although California voters have many reasons to be concerned following
the results of the November 8th general election, some of the greatest changes which have caused a stir
revolve around the passing of Propositions 57 and 64. Having passed with
overwhelming support, these two new pieces of legislation have introduced
a major revamping of the state’s criminal justice system and implemented
lighter sentences for a variety of once-serious crimes. Our firm has put
together a brief guide to help you understand exactly how these laws will
change criminal law in California.
Marijuana is Now Legal
Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), has expanded the
state’s already-existing medical marijuana legislation by making
cannabis legal for possession, use, and cultivation by adults age 21 and
older. While Californians will not be able to purchase marijuana until
state-regulated dispensaries are up and running, adults 21 and older man
now legally possess and transport up to 28.5 grams of cannabis for recreational
use, as well as
cultivate up to six marijuana plants within their homes.
Possibly a greater effect of AUMA is that has also allowed individuals
convicted of various
marijuana crimes to either reduce their convictions to misdemeanors or infractions, or
in some cases, completely remove them from their records through
expungement. This can be a major boost for individuals who have experienced hardship
reentering the workforce due to scrutiny over past pot-related offenses.
Offenses eligible for reduction or expungement include:
Certain Nonviolent Felons Are Eligible for Early Parole
Governor Jerry Brown’s initiative to alleviate the state’s
overcrowded prison problem, Proposition 57, allows parole consideration
for nonviolent felons and sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior
and education. Additionally, the law has essentially reclassified certain
crimes which were ordinarily considered violent as nonviolent, allowing
an estimated 25,000 inmates to petition for early release.
Although individuals convicted of the 23 types of violent crimes as defined
in Penal Code 667.5(c) are excluded from parole under the new law, Proposition
57 does not define which “nonviolent” felons are eligible.
Therefore, individuals convicted of nearly any crime not specifically
designated as violent by statute may be granted eligibility for early
release under this new measure.
Some of the crimes reclassified as nonviolent include:
Rape by intoxication
- Human trafficking involving sex act with minors
- Drive-by shooting
Assault with a deadly weapon
- Taking a hostage
- Domestic violence involving trauma
- Arson causing great bodily injury
- Corporal injury to a child
Riverside Criminal Defense Firm
If you have been convicted of a previous marijuana offense or a nonviolent
crime, get in touch with the powerful
Riverside criminal defense attorneys at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today. Having successfully defended
hundreds of case dismissals, reduced sentences, and favorable results
for clients accused of a variety of crimes, our team of aggressive advocates
can provide the strong advocacy you need to ensure your rights are defended.
Call (951) 687-6003 or fill out an online form
to discover your legal options.