It is possible to have your felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor even if you have already served your sentence and parole for your crime. You can do so through California’s Proposition 47.
Prop 47 is a petition-based procedure that requires an application. The “Clean Slate” program at the San Francisco County Public Defender’s office has an available petition application, with step-by-step guide, available at http://sfpublicdefender.org/services/clean-slate/.
The "Clean Slate" can also help you seal arrest records in California if you were ultimately not convicted of a crime.
Note: This process can lead to a sentence reduction for felonies, not an expungement. Expungement only works for misdemeanors or felonies that could have been tried as misdemeanors.
Can I have my record reduced under Prop 47?
Here are some simple rules to figure out if your felony conviction qualifies under Prop 47:
- The crime must have been committed before November 5, 2014.
This shows that your crime was sentenced before Prop 47 went into effect.
- Your criminal history must NOT include a serious violent charge and you cannot be registered as a sex offender.
Acts that are not eligible for Prop 47 include murder, other serious violent acts punishable by life imprisonment, sexual offenses, or certain gun crimes.
- The crime must be eligible under Prop 47’s conditions for reclassification.
Qualifying felonies include:
- Property crimes and theft where the value does not exceed $950, including:
- Grand theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Writing fraudulent checks
- Conviction of drug possession for most illegal substances, including concentrated cannabis, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin.
If you believe you do have a felony that qualifies, you must file your petition before November 4, 2022. This ensures your process will go smoothly, and doesn’t require you to procure “good cause” for a late filing.
Criminal convictions can impede your job hunt, but it is important to be aware that there are systems in place designed to help you. Don’t give up, and seek a trusted legal professional for help in your process.
The use of and access of material available within this website or any of the links contained within this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should consult with an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal issue.
Last Updated 9/24/2018