California’s Proposition 47: What You Need to Know

Have a past felony conviction for possession or petty theft that you would rather not have? Prop 47 affords you the opportunity to have your felony conviction for simple drug possession for personal use or conviction of non-violent petty theft permanently changed to a misdemeanor. Even better – it doesn’t matter when you committed the crime. It could have been 20 years ago, but now you have the legal right to have your felony convictions for these crimes changed to misdemeanors. An administrative form completed and litigated by the Johnson Criminal Law Group is all you need.

How does that benefit you? Good question. First, if you have filled out a job application in the recent past, you know the application for your potential employer will ask if you have been convicted of a felony. This is one area of employment law where an employer has the right to discriminate against you based on your past; this is their business and they are not required to look the other way, so to speak. Not to mention, it’s gut wrenching to write down your conviction on every job application, knowing that a mistake made years ago could be used against you in the evaluation of your qualifications. That’s why getting your felonies reduced to misdemeanors is one of the most important things you can do to improve the chances of getting that position you know you are qualified to hold. Call to discuss your past felony conviction with Ms. Johnson today: (949) 622-5522

The law states that you have 3 years from the passage of Prop 47 to file the motion to change the status of your conviction. Do not put this off! Call today!

Other benefits a felony restricts you from:

Owning a Firearm

It has been widely litigated and confirmed by the Supreme Court (though, with much controversy) that the 2nd amendment affords all law-abiding citizens the right to own a firearm. A felony conviction will keep you from the ability to legally own a firearm in California. If you are a convicted felon and are found in possession of a firearm, you can plan on spending the next 10 years in federal prison.

Voting

If you qualify to have your felony reduced to a misdemeanor in California, you can thank voters. You cannot thank fellow felony convicts for they, as you likely know, cannot vote until after the termination of parole. This particular term of disenfranchisement applies to four states in The Union: California, Colorado, Connecticut, and New York. However, if you are planning to move to Florida, Iowa, or Kentucky once your parole ends, you might never be able to vote as those states have lifetime bans on voting for felons.

Jury Exclusion

31 states and all federal courts do not allow felons to serve on juries. The result is that 6% of the overall population is unable to serve on juries, including 30% of all black men. This can, in some cases, lead to juries of peers unable to be assembled. The thought behind this is that felons are inherently biased against the justice system. There is no real data supporting this theory, however, it has been litigated in front of the Supreme Court, who contends it is not a constitutional violation to be disallowed from serving on a jury.

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